No country is free of discrimination. We see it everywhere, in
many forms: old and new, covert and blatant, public and private.
It may appear as institutionalized racism, as ethnic strife, as
episodes of intolerance and rejection, or as an official national
version of history that denies the identity of others.
Discrimination targets individuals and groups that are vulnerable
to attack: the disabled, women and girls, the poor, migrants,
minorities, and all those who are perceived as different.
These vulnerable people are frequently excluded from
participating in the economic, political, cultural and social
lives of their communities. The bigotry that stigmatizes and
excludes them can be exploited by extremists. In some countries,
we are witnessing the rise of a new politics of xenophobia.
But these victims of discrimination are not alone. The United
Nations is standing with them, committed to defending the rights
of all, and particularly the most vulnerable. That is our
identity and our mission. The international human rights
community continues to counter bias and hatred. Public awareness
has led to global treaties offering legal protection from
discrimination and unequal treatment.
But abstract commitments are not enough. We must continue to
confront inequality and intolerance wherever they are found.
On Human Rights Day, I invite people everywhere, at all levels,
to join the United Nations and human rights defenders around the
world in the fight against discrimination.
Policy and guidance:
Technical policies of the UNAIDS Programme -
UNAIDS Policy brief on Criminalization of HIV Transmission -
Human rights and HIV -
UNAIDS Reference Group on HIV and Human Rights -
Stigma and discrimination -
UNDP - http://www.undp.org/
UN Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights -
Secretary-General's Message for Human Rights Day 2009 -
HIV-related Stigma, Discrimination and Human Rights Violations
Case studies of successful programmes (pdf, 1 Mb.) -
International Guidelines on HIV/AIDS and Human Rights (pdf, 932
The UNAIDS Guide to the United Nations Human Rights Machinery
(pdf, 3.53 Mb.) -