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Social diversity is reflected in kindergartens, schools and institutions of higher education. Everywhere in Germany, educators take on this diversity as a challenge and stand up for a fair treatment and equal opportunities for all.

However, children, adolescents and students, time and again, are subject to discrimination in educational institutions.

Between 2017 and the first half of 2020, 861 persons got in contact with our counsellors as they had experienced discrimination in the educational sector. This corresponded to 6.4 per cent of all counselling requests. In the representative survey of a study on discrimination in Germany (“Diskriminierung in Deutschland”, 2017), almost one quarter (23.7 per cent) of the persons surveyed reported that they had experienced discrimination in the educational sector.

This shows: Incorporating anti-discrimination in educational institutions and strengthening diversity constitute important educational objectives to establish equal opportunities for all.

As for the field of public schools and higher education, the General Act on Equal Treatment (AGG) only applies to employees of that sector. Pupils and students are only covered and protected by the AGG in case they go to private educational institutions where educational opportunities are provided on the basis of a private-law contract. Thus, the General Act on Equal Treatment only provides limited protection against discrimination in this important area of life. Respective regulations protecting expressly against discrimination in schools and laying down consequences and/or procedures in case of inadmissible discrimination are lacking in the school legislation of the federal Länder.

Looking after, educating and raising children in day-care centres is based on a private-law contract between the persons entitled to care and custody and the institution's provider. The special protection against discrimination on grounds of ethnic origin or on racist grounds offered by the AGG encompasses these contracts and thus provides protection against discrimination on these grounds by providers of child day-care centres. There is no legal clarity as regards the application of the General Act on Equal Treatment with respect to the remaining characteristics stated in the AGG.

 

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