Discrimination is defined as behavior – direct or indirect – that causes an unequal treatment of a person or group of people, by virtue of their belonging to a certain category. There is direct discrimination when acting to put a person or group of people in a situation or in a disadvantage position. Example: Do not hire a Muslim, although he is qualified for work, because of his religious beliefs.

There is indirect discrimination (as mentioned above by omission) when a seemingly neutral rule, regulation, practice, criterion or parameter puts in a situation of disadvantage a person or a category of peaple. Example: Predict that all the orders of a clothing store keep their hair uncovered, thus affecting all women who wear hijabs. Discriminatory situations can occur in various spheres of social life (school, work, public life, search for a home) and can be perpetrated at the hands of an individual, or a public institution. Example: The owner of an apartment that expressly forbids renting to foreigners. Example: A public selection call where the requirement of Italian citizenship is requested also for professions that do not provide for the exercise of a public function or of national interest. Some useful contributions to understand discriminatory incidents are collected in the “Law and Practice” section.

Further information on how to recognize racial discrimination and harassment can be found in the “Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)” section.