Discrimination and harassment
No one should have to put up with discrimination or harassment. Know your rights.
According to the Citizens Advice Bureau, discrimination is the eighth most common problem people would like advice on.
Discrimination or harassment of anyone because of their sex, race, religion, sexual orientation or disability is against the law. You don’t have to tolerate it.
Sexual orientation & sexuality
Under the Sex Discrimination Act 1975 it is unlawful to:
- treat one sex more favourably than the other in work, training, education, adverts, housing, and providing goods and services
- discriminate against a transsexual in work or vocational training
Since 2003 is has been illegal for employers to discriminate against someone because of their sexuality. Workers are protected from direct and indirect discrimination, victimisation and harassment.
Outside of the workplace the law does not cover discrimination on grounds of sexual orientation but you may be able to use the law on human rights.
Race & religion
Attacks on someone because of their racial or ethnic origin or their religion or lack of religion are unlawful. Attacks can be physical, damage to home or property, verbal abuse or written abuse like texting, and abusive slogans painted on a wall or building. If this is happening to you, get legal advice.
Disabled people have a legal right to:
- help and services from their local authority
- access to all educational buildings and new buildings
- education fitted to their needs.
You can insist that your local council finds out what you need at home. If they agree that you need any services it is their statutory duty to provide them. You have a right to be educated in mainstream schools with appropriate support and equipment.
My experience: ‘Disability discrimination at school’
‘I'm visually impaired and my advice to anybody with a disability is to know your rights. You have to go out and find these things. The best way is to join a support group. There are groups for nearly every problem. I'm a member of Look, which helps young people who are visually impaired. I've had lots of problems at school. I wasn't allowed to do a geography A-level and they tried to limit me to two A levels. If you know you can do something you really have to push for it. Look came and made a good case, saying I needed everything on tape and proper help. They have expert knowledge so they can put forward a good argument. They helped convince the Education Authority and I managed to do 3 A2 levels and get into university. — Katherine Dutson, 18
Find out more…
- Oxford Sexual Abuse and Rape Crisis Line for sexual abuse, rape, sexual violence, and harassment.
- www.equalityhumanrights.com/youth Equal and Human Rights commission youth website
- www.acas.org.uk ACAS equality services, in the workplace
- True Vision report hate crimes and incidents whther around race, religion, sexual orientation, transgender identity or disability
- Stop Hate UK is a charity that provides independent and confidential support to people affected by Hate Crime - you can download their posters below
- Rights of Women
- GOV.UK has information on disability rights and laws
- BBC The Ouch! Blog Blog writers scan the news and the web for interesting stories involving disabilities
- Stop Hate UK Poster
- Its not gay to be gay - Stop Hate UK poster
- Stop Hate UK Mental Health Poster
- Stop Hate UK Leaflet