Disability: A disability reflects any limitation or lack of ability that a person experiences in performing an activity in the manner or within the range considered normal for a person, in other words, a limitation in learning, speaking, walking or some other activity (individual dimension). The definitions and the criteria for determining disability laid down in national legislation and other administrative instances differ widely within OECD member states.

Diversity: Diversity refers to the range of human differences, including but not limited to race, ethnicity, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, age, social class, religious value systems and national origin.

Ethnic minority: Categories and terminologies vary across countries according to their history, political context and ethnic and racial composition. For example, there are the terms “visible minorities” and Aboriginals in Canada, “ethnic and racial” groups in the United States, “non-Western”, “allochtonen” in the Netherlands, “ethnic groups” in the United Kingdom, “people with a migration background” in Germany – the list is extensive and the perspective to adopt any international standard in this matter is probably neither feasible nor appropriate.

Gender: Denotes either of the two sexes (male and female), especially when considered with reference to social and cultural differences rather than biological ones. The term is also used more broadly to denote a range of identities that do not correspond to established ideas of male and female.

Indigenous identity: While no universal definition exists in international law, the term is used to refer to “tribal peoples whose social, cultural and economic conditions distinguish them from other sections of the national community, and whose status is regulated (wholly or partially) by their own customs or traditions or by special laws or regulations” (ILO, 1989).

LGBT: Acronym for lesbian, gay, bisexual and trans people.

Migrant Status: Generally, the status of migrant is defined in different ways in different countries, e.g.: i) someone whose country of birth differs from their country of usual residence; ii) someone whose nationality is not that of their country of usual residence; or iii) someone who has changed his/her country of usual residence for a period of at least a year, so that the country of destination becomes the country of usual residence (United Nations, 1998). For the purposes of this paper, the term migrant status does not make any reference to a person’s legal status, but rather refers to the catch-all category of “immigrant” or “foreign born”.

Race: In the absence of any internationally agreed definition, race is most often characterised in terms of phenotype and appearance (e.g. skin colours), or with regard to ancestry. Reference to “race” does not entail a belief in the existence of biological races, but is referred to as a “social construct”. While some countries have an explicit account of race, in others the terminology avoids the reference to “race”, but the content of the category “ethnic origin” is very close to it.

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