The principles of equality and non-discrimination are at the core of human rights and help to reduce disadvantages on numerous grounds and in many areas. However, discrimination continues to persist against religious, ethnic and national minorities, indigenous peoples, persons with disabilities, migrants, older persons, children, women, and LGBTI people, among others.
Discrimination drives conflict, racism and xenophobia and is additionally fueled by the spreading of discriminatory messages through social media. The Regional Office for South-East Asia is committed to promote equality and counter discrimination. In all its areas of work, it applies a ‘people-centered approach’, shining a spotlight on particularly marginalized groups. The Office, among others, works to encourage rights-based and inclusive public narratives, assists formal and informal justice systems to apply a victim-centered, human rights-based approach, through legal advice and technical assistance to both state and non-state actors, and develops good practices to combat discrimination and engages with policy makers to implement them