First Joint Report

The First Joint Report by the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency and the Relevant Federal Government and Bundestag Commissioners was presented to the German Bundestag in 2010 and focused on “multidimensional discrimination”.

First Joint Report

The report provides, among others, approaches for responding to the following questions:

  1. What does it mean for people affected by discrimination if they are not only discriminated against because of their gender or their disability but especially due to gender and disability combined?
  2. Can certain combinations of discrimination grounds be identified that particularly often lead to discrimination?
  3. What options are there for people to defend themselves against such discrimination?
  4. And what are the challenges in counselling work and legal disputes in such cases?

The report points out areas in which multidimensional discrimination is of particular significance and recommends measures to address it. It examines the topic from various perspectives and, in the annex, provides readers with the possibility of exploring the topic in greater depth in the context of academic studies.

Recommendations and demands by the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency regarding the legal definition of multidimensional discrimination:

  • Data collection: Expanding and improving the collection of (sensitive) data that also includes cases of multidimensional discrimination. Initiating and carrying out specific projects to improve the collection of data and case numbers along with courts dealing with cases of discrimination on the grounds stated in the General Act on Equal Treatment (German abbreviation: AGG). This should also include data from trade unions, (employer) associations and the Federal Statistical Office.
  • Public relations work: The public’s awareness of multidimensional discrimination must be raised to enable targeted counselling and the enforcement of rights in specific cases.
  • Research: Gaining valid findings requires an interdisciplinary approach interconnecting sociological, legal and educational issues. In addition, a methodical approach is needed that combines academic knowledge and practical know-how (increased inter- and transdisciplinary research on “multidimensional discrimination”).
  • Counselling: Staff of counselling facilities or people providing counselling should be trained in how to identify and individually assist a person experiencing multidimensional discrimination.
  • Legal advice and judicial practice: Due to low numbers of judicial reviews of multidimensional discrimination aspects, judges and lawyers should be increasingly further educated and trained in how to handle multidimensional discrimination.
  • Law: Rules should clarify that in cases of multidimensional discrimination, the multidimensional aspect must be adequately taken into account when examining the justifications and determining the amount of compensation.

For reasons of legal certainty, it is recommended that Section 3 of the General Act on Equal Treatment (German abbreviation: AGG) be expanded to include a legal definition of multidimensional discrimination, including a non-exhaustive list of main subgroups (in particular intersectional, compound and multiple discrimination).

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