Quotas have harmed target groups by delegitimizing their success. They also violate the rights to equal treatment and freedom of association. Still, quotas have become embedded in international human rights law, writes the Freedom Rights Project’s Aaron Rhodes in The Commentator. Now, the conflict has reached the EU.
In early September the EU Commissioner for Justice, Viviane Reding, announced that a European gender quota for company boards is under way. Nine member states have already opposed the initiative, claiming that such a law would undermine the subsidiarity principle. It would also violate basic human rights principles.
Regrettably, quotas are already given credence by a number of international human rights treaties and bodies: The Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW) and The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination hold that quotas may be required to address discrimination. The UN Human Rights Committee has also endorsed quotas. This way, international human rights treaties and bodies are challenging fundamental human rights to equal treatment, and freedom of association. Read more here.