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Discrimination – more common than you think!

 © - Kwest
© - Kwest
Fair treatment is a basic right in the EU but discrimination still exists in many forms, and it’s not always easy to identify.

It’s illegal to discriminate on the grounds of a person's age, disability, gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. However, only one-third of EU citizens are fully aware of their rights, so it’s important to learn about your rights and responsibilities. The better informed you are, the better you can fight discrimination.



Amnesty International gives you several options on how to join the fight against discrimination in Europe. You can add your signature to their web actions, comment on the blog or even join the organisation.

You can also use your social networks to help put an end to the exclusion of people with disabilities. End Exclusion suggests you send your tweets to EU politicians, share your favourite videos about inclusion and disability or make your own video.


Forms of discrimination

Direct discrimination happens when a person is treated less well than others because of something that’s not relevant, like their racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. For example: when a shop owner refuses to hire suitably qualified people simply because they are of a certain race or ethnic origin.

Indirect discrimination happens when apparently neutral rules, criteria or practices would disadvantage people on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation unless the practice can be objectively justified by a legitimate aim. For example, a department store that banned its staff from wearing hats when serving customers would effectively stop anyone from working there who covered their heads on religious grounds, like many Muslim women.


Get help

Have you ever been discriminated against? Find out where to go for help and advice.