What is an imperfect charge of discrimination

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The anti-discrimination agency based in Berlin has been in existence for eleven years. It was set up to support people who are disadvantaged because of their gender, age, skin color or ethnic origin, religion, disability or sexual identity.

Change of consciousness initiated

Since the establishment of the facility and the General Equal Treatment Act, a lot has changed in people's consciousness, says head Christine Lüders. For example, companies have become more vigilant when it comes to sexual harassment or homophobia. "Today many companies make it clear that they will not tolerate this," said Lüders.

So it is perhaps no wonder that the number of those who openly deal with their lesbian or gay identity in the workplace has more than doubled in the past ten years. This is shown by a study that Lüders presented in Berlin.

Job advertisements like "Young, attractive secretary wanted" are also unthinkable today, Lüders continues.

Anyone can defend themselves

Discrimination is by no means a fringe issue, it concerns us all. Often those affected do not talk about it - out of shame or resignation. The General Equal Treatment Act gives everyone the means to take action against discrimination: everyone can defend themselves!

The General Equal Treatment Act came into force in 2006. It is intended to prevent or eliminate discrimination based on racial or ethnic origin, gender, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual identity. The focus is on protection against discrimination in employment and occupation, but the AGG also contains provisions on protection against discrimination in civil law transactions.

Inform the public about rights

In order to be able to take action against discrimination, one must first know one's rights. And this is where the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency comes into play. It informs the public specifically about rights in the event of discrimination and would generally like to expand knowledge about various forms of disadvantage.

For this reason, the Anti-Discrimination Agency has put one form of discrimination at the center of its activities every year since 2012. The previous main topics were: Age, 2013: Disability, 2014: Racism, 2015: Gender, 2016: Religion and this year sexual diversity. Legal and social equality should be promoted with various campaigns, events and research projects.

Anti-discrimination agency advises and mediates

But the Anti-Discrimination Agency not only provides information - it also offers those affected an initial legal consultation and passes it on to other counseling centers. She also tries to mediate between the parties. For example, the Anti-Discrimination Agency writes to landlords or employers with the request to comment on one of the facts described. This often leads to a change in behavior.

Can be reached Anti-Discrimination Agency via a hotline 030 / 18-555-1855 or via an electronic contact form. The hotline is available on Mondays between 1:00 p.m. and 3:00 p.m. and Wednesdays and Fridays between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. for initial legal advice. For general inquiries, the hotline is available Monday to Friday between 9:00 a.m. and 12:00 p.m. and 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. If you need advice, the email address [email protected] is used and for general inquiries [email protected]

facts and figures

Since the start of the anti-discrimination agency, the number of inquiries has risen steadily, says head Lüders. Since August 2006, almost 17,000 people have asked for advice. Thematically, the inquiries dealt with discrimination on the basis of:

  • Disability (27 percent)
  • Ethnic origin (25 percent)
  • Gender (24 percent)
  • Age (19 percent)
  • Religion (6 percent)
  • Sexual identity (5 percent)
  • Worldview (1 percent).

Six percent of the inquiries related to more than one reason for discrimination.

The budget of the anti-discrimination agency has increased since 2006 from 2.9 to 4.3 million euros.