Clause 3 of the CLPR Equality Bill prohibits discrimination on the basis of protected characteristics. 2(oo)(i) lists socio-economic disadvantage as a protected ground, defined as a condition of a person “disadvantaged by poverty, low income, homelessness, or lack of or low-level educational qualifications.”
This post will focus on the Koraga Tribe in Karnataka and Kerala, and the intersectional nature of the discrimination they face. While the Koragas are classified as a Particularly Vulnerable Tribal Group (PVTG), their population continues to dwindle and they remain in abject poverty.
The right to equality and non-discrimination involves not only formal equality in law but obligations on the State to provide substantive non-discrimination for those persons and groups who suffer differential impacts. In the context of healthcare, this means recognizing stigma, discrimination, and exclusion as a result of disability, health status, gender and gender identity, and other social, economic, and cultural categories. Positive obligations, in that case, should extend beyond the prohibition of discrimination, to inclusive policies, reasonable accommodation, and affirmative action’s accounting for special needs and acknowledging existing barriers in the access to healthcare. As the Covid-19 pandemic has highlighted, healthcare as an occupation is also in need of protection with multiple reports of attacks on healthcare workers stigmatized as carriers of the virus.
India has witnessed a rise in intolerance over the past few months. From intolerance towards dissent, housing decisions taken based on political leanings to violence towards minorities (religious or socio-economic), show a growing unease and divide in the citizens of India. These acts of violence, discrimination or unequal treatment can be divided into two categories.