Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency

Ceremony celebrating ten years of the General Equal Treatment Act

Year of issue 2016
date of issue 2016.09.27

Federal Minister Maas and EU-Commisionner Jourová honored the legal protection against discrimination in Germany

Ten years after The General Equal Treatment Act (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz) came into force, the federal minister for Justice and Consumer Protection, Heiko Maas, and the EU-commissioner for Justice, Consumers and Gender Equality, Věra Jourová, honored The Act as a significant contribution against discrimination in Germany.

"In a society which is increasingly diverse, only equal treatment guarantees solidarity and inner peace. The General Equal Treatment Act has contributed to a cosmopolitan, modern and liberal Germany. After ten years we can conclude that The Act has been effective – against the strong scepsis of some critics", Maas said at the ceremony held by the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency in Berlin on Tuesday. "With The General Equal Treatment Act Germany led the way to the legislation of anti-discrimination. Ten years ago it was a courageous step which exceeded the minimum requirements of the EU-guidelines. We will need Germany in a leading position to continue to advance fundamental rights and equal treatment in Europe", Jourová said.

"It was a major achievement that the legislator decided to implement an act against discrimination", accented Christine Lüders, Director of the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency (FADA). According to Lüders, the implementation of The General Equal Treatment Act initiated a cultural change. "Discrimination in working life still exists today, but it is strongly denounced and discussed more and more openly." Lüders suggested to make selective adjustments to improve victim protection. The basis for the adjustments is the evaluation of The Act, recently presented by FADA. "We have to do everything in our power to strengthen the rights of persons affected by discrimination. I see that it is still insufficient."

The Director of the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency precisely suggested to extend the period in which the persons affected need to take the discrimination to court. In addition, Lüders demanded the right to bring a suit for associations.