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Anti-discrimination chief calls for tougher sanctions

The Local · 16 Aug 2011, 10:14

Published: 16 Aug 2011 10:14 GMT+02:00

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“We need tougher sanctions,” Christine Lüders told the Süddeutsche Zeitung on Tuesday, saying unequal treatment “harms us and our competitiveness.”

Germany’s General Equal Treatment Act, which went into force in 2006, protects certain people against discrimination including homosexuals and religious or ethnic minorities.

But although penalties can be levelled against violators, Lüders said they’re not enough.

“If somebody is illegally rejected from nightclubs or gyms, then a €100 fine doesn’t hurt the operators,” she told the Süddeutsche, saying compensation is also much too low for people illegally dismissed from jobs.

Lüders also argued that victims should have more time than the current two months to file discrimination complaints, and it should be easier for the government or interested agencies to sue alleged violators.

Story continues below…

DPA/The Local/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:13 August 16, 2011 by Asgarli
Illegally rejected from a gym or a NIGHTCLUB? They are both private properties, and its solely their own decision whom to let in and whom to not.
16:28 August 16, 2011 by expatriarch
@Asgarli - When you open your venue to the public and you are a company, you do not have the right to discriminate. That is a bone-headed comment. And by "bone-headed" I mean stupid! Because it's a stupid thing to say.

Kick someone out because they are making trouble or accosting patrons, being vulgar, being loud, being rude, etc. but don't throw people out or discriminate against people because of their age, sex, skin color, or sexual orientation. It's just plain stupid and not right.
17:53 August 16, 2011 by catjones
Asgarli...the private party argument does not apply to businesses that are licensed/taxed/inspected by the city/state. Ever notice how all the restaurants no longer allow smoking? Did they all solely make the same decision at the same time?
18:57 August 16, 2011 by Englishted
It is not a problem of the compensation being to low .

The main problem is the cost of fighting the case in the first place.

I worked for a firm for 6 weeks and then they simply said they could not pay me ,my choice was paying out more with no or little chance of getting costs from the court or taking it on the chin.

But if you are reading this remember what goes around comes around and somethings are best taken cold.
03:23 August 17, 2011 by ngwanem
... and they talk of integration(*sighs*)
03:25 August 17, 2011 by slawek
They should start with their own educational system, though I doubt the government would be willing to pay any fines. This could go into billions and the schools would be bankrupt.

They should enforce a system of anonymous job applications. You don't see the name und you don't see the photograph. Also enforce to advertise the salary in job ads.

As for the handicapped they should force employers to arrange the job interview no matter what, no excuse.

As you can see from the short list fines are just another hypocrisy, that make politicians feel better. This county is at the bottom when it comes to discrimination.
05:05 August 17, 2011 by Johnne
@the Local: Thank you very much for this article.


I feel you broth. Although the majority of white Germans are very good people, there´s a lot of hostility towards ethnic minority in this country. The Police? forget those ones..some of them are bunch of uneducated secondry school graduates who happen to be "white germans" in security uniforms. Most of them don´t even know how to investigate crime so even if they´re not racists, they´re too uninformed & cowardly to act. All what they know how to do is to check ethnic minorities IDs or try and "catch" a suspected "illegal immigrant" So please look somewhere else for help next time. You will be surprised that an average man on the street would rather help you than the Police.

You see, what we are doing is to keep on selling the döners, the used cars, the merchandise, opening afro/asian shops, the small ethnic minority cafe bars, the night clubs (if possible) getting the Law Degrees, MBAs, MSc and PhDs (and raising our kids to earn them as well) joining the Police itself & the Army, penetrating into that "anti discrimination" office and taking charge of it, and continue to do very very well in sports & even representing the country in it...for example the best number 10 in the national football team is of Tukish descent (Mezut ízil) and it´s there for everybody to see with the type of club he plays with and the pay he earns. We should coninue to build our small companies amd employ as much of ethnic minority & native germans as possible so that at the end of the day, what goes round must definitely come around. I believe if you are in the market, and someone throws a stone at you, it´ll hit his or her own person after some time. Some people derive fun in seeing ethnic minorities suffer discrimination in this country so don´t even bother talking to them about it. I´m always happy when some people ask me what my occupation is & I answer them that I run my own company and employ white Germans. They see that it is easier for me to have a normal relationship with the native German without being bitter inside. And I´m glad to know that my kids, as black (mixed race) children will get the right education and training, and drive jaguars, bmw & benz jeeps to school ;-)
09:09 August 17, 2011 by Tony2u
I concur with Johnne's logic, and would like to add that our best defense against racism is to remain vigilant and to challenge it whenever it rears its ugly head. As a Black American living in Germany I have joined agencies that educate and defend minorities against racism. Sure the current laws are weak but we only have ourselves to blame for this. We have allowed this farce to continue. We can encourage, even compel, the government to make better laws, but first we have to be worthy of them.
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