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“All Citizens are Equal before Law and are Entitled to Equal Protection of Law”-Article 27 of the Constitution of the People’s Republic of Bangladesh

Issue No: 112
March 28, 2009

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For Your information

Racial discrimination

21-28 March is the Week of Solidarity with the Peoples Struggling against Racism and Racial Discrimination.

When discrimination can happen
Discrimination happens when someone is treated worse ('less favourably' in legal terms) than another person in the same or similar situation.


You may be discriminated against because of your:
* race;
* colour;
* nationality; or
* national or ethnic origin.
The words 'race' and 'racial' cover all these things.

People may suffer discrimination:
* at work;
* when buying or using goods and services;
* when trying to buy or rent somewhere to live;
* at a school or college; or
* when dealing with the authorities (for example, the police).

The law on equality talks about three types of discrimination:
* Direct discrimination when you are treated less favourably on racial grounds. This covers treating you less favourably because of your race and also treating you less favourably because of someone else's race. For example, if you refuse to follow an instruction by your employer to discriminate against someone from a different race and are then dismissed, you can claim racial discrimination.
* Indirect discrimination where rules or conditions apply without good reason and they have a worse effect on some racial groups than on others. For example, there would be indirect discrimination if a job had a requirement to have 'English as a mother tongue', because it would exclude some racial groups whose first language is not English but who speak fluent English.
* Victimisation when you are treated less favourably because you complained of racial discrimination or helped a colleague who did so.

Discrimination at work
It is against the law for an employer to discriminate against you on grounds of race when choosing someone for a job and when deciding which staff will be:
* promoted;
* given benefits at work, such as training;
* disciplined;
* dismissed; or
* made redundant.

Discrimination at school or college
It is against the law for a school or college to discriminate against or harass you or your child:
* in the terms on which it offers to admit your child;
* when deciding whether to exclude your child; or
* in the way your child is taught.

The school or college must deal with any racial harassment or abuse by staff.

Source: Legal Services Commission & the Commission for Racial Equality, UK.


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