Discrimination means any distinction, exclusion or preference that has the effect of nullifying or impairing equal enjoyment of rights. Discrimination in practice is the limitation or deprivation of the rights of certain categories of citizens based on their religion, race, ethnic origin, sex, or any other characteristics. It is an antisocial problem that does not only affect those directly implicated and stems from hatred, false notions of racial superiority, antipathy, prejudice, ignorance, fear and intolerance.
Although discrimination is not usually persecution, in certain circumstances, especially when there is an accumulation of acts over time, or when there is an escalation in their intensity, it may then constitute persecution or lead to a well-founded fear of persecution.
Discrimination exists in employment, education, nutrition, health care, housing, immigration and migration laws, international relations, foreign aid, and in everyday social encounters.