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Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights, General Comment No. 20 on non-discrimination in economic, social and cultural rights
In 2009 the Committee on Economic Social and Cultural Rights issued a General Comment on non-discrimination in economic, social and cultural rights. The Committee’s interpretation is that States parties must immediately ‘adopt the necessary measures to prevent, diminish and eliminate the conditions and attitudes which cause or perpetuate substantive or de facto discrimination.’ The Committee adds that ‘the exercise of Covenant rights should not be conditional on, or determined by, a person’s current or former place of residence; e.g. whether an individual lives or is registered in an urban or a rural area, in a formal or an informal settlement, is internally displaced or leads a nomadic lifestyle. Disparities between localities and regions should be eliminated in practice by ensuring, for example, that there is even distribution in the availability and quality of primary, secondary and palliative health-care facilities.’ General Comment No. 20 on non-discrimination in economic, social and cultural rights.
In 1989, the Human Rights Committee issued a General Comment on the right to non-discrimination under Article 26 of the International Convention on Civil and Political Rights, ICCPR.
The General Comment starts by stating that the ICCPR obligates each State party to respect and ensure to all persons within its territory and subject to its jurisdiction the rights recognized in the Covenant without distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, political or other opinion, national or social origin, property, birth or other status. CCPR General Comment No. 18 Non-discrimination