Annual report

Anti-Discrimination Agency receives more enquiries

Increasingly people feel they are suffering discrimination as a result of their ethnic background, states the annual report of the independent Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency. In 2018, 15% more requests for advice were received than in 2017.

Hands with different skin colors

Nobody in Germany ought to suffer discrimination stipulates the General Act on Equal Treatment (AGG)

Photo: PeopleImages/istock/Getty Images

In 2018, 3,455 enquiries were received by the Anti-Discrimination Agency relating to discrimination on at least one of the grounds covered by anti-discrimination legislation (age, disability, ethnic background, gender, sexual orientation, religion, belief or philosophy of life). This marked a 15% increase over the previous year.

“The number of cases, and the upward trend indicates that discrimination is an everyday problem,” said Bernhard Franke, Interim Director of the Anti-Discrimination Agency.

Most enquiries received in 2018 related to discrimination on the grounds of ethnic background/racist ascription (31%) and gender (29%), followed by disability (26%), age (14%), religion (7%), sexual identity (5%) and belief or philosophy of life (2%).

Discrimination at the workplace

Statistics demonstrate that discrimination is most frequently experienced at the workplace. They show that over a third (36%) of enquiries relate to discrimination in working life. They include discrimination against working pregnant women, discrimination against individuals from an ethnic minority background on the job market, unequal pay and sexual harassment.

The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency is an independent point of contact for people affected by discrimination. It was established in 2006 under the provisions of the General Act on Equal Treatment (AGG). It conducts PR work and research on discrimination and offers initial legal counselling for people who have suffered discrimination as a result of their ethnic background, religion, belief or philosophy of life, sexual identity, age, disability or gender.

Online and in the media

In 2018, the Anti-Discrimination Agency addressed the #MeToo debates and the need for more barrier-free access and launched the largest nationwide anti-discrimination campaign to date (#DarüberReden).

#DarüberReden moved thousands of young people to talk about discrimination in social media in 2018. The aim was to bring to light cases of discrimination in everyday life and to discuss with young people how to address the problem.