Racism / Ethnic Origin
The majority of consultation requests to the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency frequently concern discrimination on grounds of race or ethnicity.
The number of reported cases of discrimination on grounds of ethnicity or race is particularly high on the housing market, when attempting to access restaurants and clubs, when dealing with banks, at school or university and when in contact with the police, but also in public spaces and working life. The reports often describe instances of everyday racism, such as when someone is subjected to racial slurs because of the colour of their skin, of structural discrimination, when candidates might, for instance, not get invited to a job interview because of their surname, but also cases of overt aggressive hostility.
The discrimination characteristic of ethnic origin refers to categories such as skin colour, physical appearance, language or migrant background. Nationality is not protected directly under the General Equal Treatment Act (German abbreviation: AGG), but can be considered indirect racial discrimination if, for instance, lessors wish not to rent out to Syrians across the board.
The AGG prohibits racial discrimination in everyday activities as well as in working life. In this context, the term ‘race’, which is used both in the AGG and in the Basic Law (German abbreviation: GG), is highly controversial. The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency strongly advocates replacing this term with the wordings ‘racial discrimination’ or ‘racist attribution’.
The Anti-Discrimination Agency offers a variety of information materials on protection from racial discrimination.