Toronto Metropolitan University
Sealy-Harrington, Joshua & Jonnette Watson Hamilton - Colour as a Discrete Ground of Discrimination (Can. J. of Hum. Rights - 2018).pdf (397.08 kB)

Colour as a Discrete Ground of Discrimination

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journal contribution
posted on 2023-02-09, 03:21 authored by Joshua Sealy-HarringtonJoshua Sealy-Harrington, Jonnette Watson Hamilton

Colour, as a ground of discrimination, is usually equated with or subsumed under the ground of race. We argue that colour does and should have a discrete role in human rights and equality cases because it highlights certain hierarchies and forms of marginalization unaddressed by the ground of race. To support this argument, we first explore the concepts of “race” and “colour” and their relationship to one another as well as the harms done by discrimination based on colour. Then, after a brief review of the use of race and colour in international and domestic instruments, we examine American anti-discrimination employment cases to learn from that country’s experience with separating race and colour as two separate grounds of discrimination. We then turn to the emerging Canadian jurisprudence recognizing colour as a distinct ground and the possible consequences of that recognition.