In late 2008, the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights called for submissions on its draft General Comment 20 on Non-Discrimination. The draft General Comment examines the various obligations contained in article 2(2) of the International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (ICESCR). It also analyses the prohibited grounds of discrimination and makes comments on national implementation. Article 2(2) is of particular importance as non-discrimination and substantive equality are essential pre-conditions for the effective protection and promotion of all human rights.
In December 2008 the Centre and the Public Interest Law Clearing House (PILCH) made a Joint Submission on the Draft General Comment on Non-Discrimination (with Annexure) to the Committee. The joint submission addresses the draft General Comment’s consideration of:
- systemic discrimination;
- temporary special measures;
- permissible limitations on the right to non-discrimination; and
- prohibited grounds of discrimination.
The Committee expects the final draft of General Comment 20 to be adopted in May 2009.