When can discrimination Happen?
Discrimination happens when someone is treated worse ('less favourably' in legal terms) than another person in another situation. This deals with your rights if you are discriminated against because of your:
- national or ethnic origin.
We use the words 'race' and 'racial' to cover all of these things. People may suffer discrimination in a number of situations. It can happen:
- when buying or using goods and services
- at work
- when trying to buy or rent somewhere to live
- at a school or college
- when dealing with authorities (e.g. the police)
'Equal Opportunities' looks in more detail at the laws on discrimination because of your sex and also your rights if you are discriminated against because of your age or your religious beliefs.
'Rights for People with Disabilities' which looks at dealing with discrimination if you have a disability.
You may find that you are discriminated against for more than one reason. If this is the case, you may need to get advice about the best course of action. You can get advice from:
- a trade union
- your local Law Centre
- a Citizens Advice Bureau
- a solicitor
Racial discrimination is not the same as racial abuse (being attacked for example). Racial abuse is a crime, and if you have been a victim, you should report it to the police.
Hate crimes share commonalities - crime is targeted at a person because of who the person is, and it makes you move house or walk another way home. Perpetrators target victims by picking on someone who already has a perceived weakness. For example, in “Operation Gold Tooth” where a London-man routinely robbed people coming off Hampstead Heath after dark, because victims were invariably gay-men coming back from a liaison and he knew they were unlikely to report the robbery against them as this could mean incriminating themselves.