Do constitutions take at least one approach to equity across ethnicity?



 

This map tells us whether nations take at least one approach to protecting equity based on ethnicity in their constitution.

Only constitutional provisions are included in this map. Legislative protections are not shown here. Read more about why constitutions matter.

More information:

  • Approaches to equity based on ethnicity include prohibitions of discrimination against any particular racial/ethnic group, guarantees of equal rights, guarantees of equality before the law, and guarantees of overall equality for different racial or ethnic groups in a country. 
    1. Prohibition of discrimination refers to a general protection against discrimination (e.g. “No one may be discriminated against on the basis of ethnicity”).
    2. Equal rights refer to a guarantee of being able to enjoy rights granted in the constitution (e.g. “All citizens enjoy equal rights regardless of ethnicity”).
    3. Equality before the law refers to a guarantee of equal protection before the law (e.g. “All persons are equal before the law regardless of their ethnicity”).
    4. Equality refers to a guarantee of a general right to equality or equal opportunities (e.g. “The State guarantees equality for all citizens, regardless of ethnicity”).
  • No, none means that the constitution does not explicitly mention the right to equity based on ethnicity for all citizens. This does not mean that the constitution denies this right, but that it does not explicitly include it.
  • General equity guaranteed means the right to equity is guaranteed for all citizens, but not specifically on the basis of ethnicity.
  • Aspirational means that the constitution protects the general right to equity based on ethnicity but does not use language strong enough to be considered a guarantee. For example, constitutions in this category might state that the country aims to protect or promote equity based on ethnicity.
  • Guaranteed with exceptions includes cases where the constitution protects the general right to equity based on ethnicity, but allows this protection to be curtailed in certain circumstances. For example, a constitution may have a provision allowing laws to restrict certain rights, including the right to nondiscrimination, in order to achieve the fundamental principles to which the constitution aspires.
  • Guaranteed means that the constitution protects the right to equity based on ethnicity in authoritative language. For example, constitutions in this category might guarantee citizens’ right to equity based on ethnicity or make it the State’s responsibility to ensure this right.
  • On mouseover on the map, a note may appear for some countries which indicates “potential positive action”. This is a measure or measures that may be taken to compensate for past discrimination or current inequalities on the basis of ethnicity. Positive action can be framed in guaranteed terms (e.g., “the State shall adopt measures of affirmative action for ethnic minorities”) or in terms that leave open the possibility for positive action (e.g., “Nothing in this article shall prevent the State from taking measures to promote equality for ethnic minorities, in order to address past discrimination against them”).