Call for Input: Protecting Minority Rights: A Practical Guide to Developing Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Legislation

7 September 2020
Issued by
OHCHR Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section (IPMS)
To open a call for inputs – and in particular sample legislative provisions and jurisprudence -- into the publication “Protecting Minority Rights: A Practical Guide on Developing Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Legislation”, under development in 2020


During its May 2020 meeting, the OHCHR Publications Committee approved drafting of the Guide, including a timeline for Guide development, and the principle of broad and extensive consultation as to inputs.


During 2020 and 2021, the United Nations Human Rights Office Indigenous Peoples and Minorities Section (OHCHR IPMS) and the Equal Rights Trust (ERT) are developing and producing “Protecting Minority Rights: A Practical Guide on Developing Comprehensive Anti-Discrimination Legislation”. The publication aims to fill a long-term expressed and identified need for a go-to manual for Governments, Parliaments, NHRIs, UN staff, civil society representatives and minority and other human rights defenders in the main conceptual and content elements of anti-discrimination law, the various aspects of the comprehensive ban on all forms of discrimination and the protection of minorities, as grounded in the core international human rights treaties and related norms and standards, including as adjudicated. In addition to summarizing normative content, the publication will provide concrete country-based practices and practical guidance.

The Guide is a response to the dramatically heightened recommendations in this area in the recent period appearing in the Human Rights Council’ Universal Periodic Review from and to all regions of the world, as well as increasing convergence among the Human Rights Treaty Bodies on the need for comprehensive anti-discrimination law addressing all grounds. The Guide thus aims to meet guidance needs in this area arising from the recommendations of international human rights mechanisms, as concerns transposing the international law ban on discrimination into the domestic legal order, in particular as concerns minorities, with due regard to intersectionality. While the publication is a response to these long-term needs, the COVID-19 crisis – and in particular the dramatic disparities reported world-wide as concerns impact on minorities – provides additional urgency to production of the publication. 

Key questions and types of input sought

The project partners welcome the submission of positive examples and good practices from local, national and regional level, for possible inclusion in the Guide.  Sample legislative provisions and jurisprudence – example provisions – drawn from a variety of different jurisdictions transposing the relevant principle into national law, are particularly welcome. Material of possible interest includes legislative provisions and / or jurisprudence on:

(1) the substantive elements of anti-discrimination law, dealing with the essential elements of the right to non-discrimination – personal scope, prohibited conduct, material scope and permissible exceptions – and the obligation to adopt positive action programmes to accelerate progress towards equality;

(2) the procedural components of anti-discrimination law: dealing with the necessary procedural elements of anti-discrimination law, ranging from the existence and accessibility of a procedure for those exposed to discrimination to questions of the standard and burden of proof;

and (3) the institutional arrangements for anti-discrimination law, including standards pertaining to the obligation to establish independent bodies to ensure the implementation of anti-discrimination law, as well as positive practices in court-based or other administrative enforcement.

How and where to submit inputs

Inputs may be sent via e-mail or postal mail. All submissions must be received by 7 September 2020 18:00 CEST.

E-mail address
E-mail subject line
Inputs for Anti-Discrimination Law Guide
Postal address
Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights, United Nations Office at Geneva, CH 1211 Geneva 10, Switzerland
Word limit
File formats
Word, PDF
Accepted languages
English, French, Spanish, Russian, Arabic, Chinese

Treatment of inputs received

Material used in the Guide will be duly footnoted or otherwise referenced according to standard formats.