Rights to equality and non-discrimination in international law form the core of this paper. It begins with a preliminary study of the legal codes including the historical development of these principals in international and regional legal human rights instruments. It looks at the question of segregation, exclusion, derogation, and preference as elements that make up discrimination. It relates this to the standards of differentiation between legitimate discrimination and unlawful or prohibited discrimination. It goes on to present international standards that identify the meaning of equality and non-discrimination, and investigates the basis of prohibited discrimination in particular among the groups that are subject to it. Applying this context to Arab countries, the paper examines the need for a modern law on equality and non-discrimination that could be better enforced than current legal frameworks.