The principle of non-discrimination is the cornerstone of human rights, since the very nature of human rights is that they are based on human dignity and inherent to all human beings, irrespective of race, colour, sex, language, religion or social origin. As a result, no discrimination can be invoked by a State in order to deprive someone of his/her human rights. As article 1 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR) states: “All human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights”.
Nevertheless, to this day, discrimination remains a major challenge in Arab States’ laws and policies. It targets women, ethnic or religious minorities, who are being denied their fundamental rights such as access to citizenship. Furthermore, repressive policies can be targeted towards specific groups with laws being drafted, in such a way, to discriminate against particular segments of the population.
As it is crucial to the promotion and defence of human rights, the principle of non-discrimination also constitutes the cornerstone of Alkarama’s work, and is enshrined in the Charter of the Foundation.