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Jan 21, 2020

Bill Removes System Barriers to Prevent Discrimination

Rashad Brathwaite

While the Bill makes reference to the LGBT community, it is only one of nineteen vulnerable groups identified in the proposed anti-discrimination law. The Bill speaks to four categories: conduct, protected characteristics, areas of public life and exceptions and exemptions. Consultant and Legal Drafts Person Rasha Brathwaite breaks down why it is necessary to remove systemic barriers to prevent discrimination.


Rashad Brathwaite, Consultant/Legal Drafts Person

“Direct discrimination, indirect discrimination – what is it that we are talking about. Simply when a person discriminates as understood within Belizean legal landscape is treatment that is both different and less favourable. So it must result in a detriment to an individual and this can happen either directly or indirectly. So to use the example of direct discrimination; if a job indicates that women are not to be hired for a job that is direct discrimination, it is clear on the surface that a woman would not be able to apply and to get that job. Now indirect discrimination is a rule that is neutral on its surface, but has a disproportionate effect on a particular class. Harassment simply refers to unwanted behaviour which has the effect of creating an intimidating, hostile or degrading environment and this can happen on its own or along other forms of discrimination. And finally, victimization is treating someone unfavourably because they have taken or might be taking action on the legislation or they are supporting someone who is doing that.”


Randall Sheppard

Randall Sheppard, Legislative Drafting, Attorney General’s Ministry

“Over the past couple of days, we realize that persons are confusing the role of the commission as well as the role of the Tribunal. Miss Simplis Barrow explained that the Tribunal is similar and on equal footing of the Supreme Court; whereas the Commission, one of the primary functions will be to deal investigations of complaints and try to see if there can be resolution of that complaint without having to go to court.”

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