Know Your Rights: My Right to be Treated Equally

Section 1 of Know Your Rights: The Rights of Children and Young People

Written by Children's Rights Alliance


800x200 GCF


This factsheet is an extract from the publication Know Your Rights: The Rights of Children and Young People published by the Children’s Rights Alliance. It is reproduced here with their kind permission. Know Your Rights is a public information project designed to inform everyone, in plain language, of the rights and entitlements children have in Ireland and where to go when they are not respected.

What is equality?

Equality is about recognising that everyone has the same worth and should be treated with dignity. Sometimes people are treated badly or unfairly because of negative attitudes and stereotypes like racism. This type of treatment goes against the idea of equality and is known as discrimination. You have the right to be protected from discrimination at school, when you buy or sell something, when you use a service such as the bus, attend a youth or sports group, or when you are in employment.

Discrimination usually happens when you are treated differently or less favourably than someone else in the same situation and the reason why that happened is related to:

  • your gender: whether you identify yourself as a boy, a girl, or as transgender
  • your marital or civil status: whether you are married or in a civil partnership
  • your family status: whether you are pregnant, a parent of a child or the carer of someone with a disability
  • your sexual orientation: whether you are heterosexual (straight), gay, lesbian or bisexual
  • your religion, or lack of religious beliefs
  • your age (this generally only applies to those over 18 years)
  • your disability
  • your race, ethnic background, nationality and colour
  • your membership of the Traveller community

These personal characteristics are known as ‘discrimination grounds’. You also have a right to be protected from harassment on these grounds. Harassment includes things like offensive comments and text messages or even physical things like pushing or hitting people.

My right to be treated equally

Need more information, advice or guidance?

We offer information, advice and guidance about the issues that matter to you. Our online Youth Information Chat service is for 16 to 25 year olds and is available Monday to Friday, 4pm to 8pm (excluding Bank Holidays).

Our work is supported by