oa Fundamina : A Journal of Legal History - The African Charter on Human and Peoples' Rights and the protection and promotion of the right to equality and nondiscrimination for homosexuals : a discussion

Volume 2003 Number 9
  • ISSN : 1021-545X
  • E-ISSN: 2411-7870



The centrality of the principles of equality and non-discrimination in international human rights law is beyond question. International and regional human rights instruments are replete with references to the principles of equality and non-discrimination. The commitment to equality and non-discrimination in the post Second World War epoch was started by the reaffirmation of faith in the equal rights between men and women in the United Nations Charter. Article 1(3) of the Charter states that the organization's purpose is, amongst others, to promote and encourage respect for human rights for all without distinction as to race, sex, language, or religion. In the 1948 Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the principles of equality and non-discrimination are further elaborated. Article 2 of the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights (ICCPR) also states the commitment of the state parties to ensure to all within their territory the rights recognised in the covenant "without distinction of any kind". The principles of equality and non-discrimination also find expression in other international instruments including the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR), and the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW). From the foregoing, it is apparent that the commitment to and achievement of equality and non-discrimination in all societies are goals of the international community.

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