Discrimination has many faces. It happens in everyday life and at work, in the neighbourhood, in the street, in the care centre or in job training, in the business world, when shopping or flat hunting, at the place of work, at restaurants or on holiday.
Human rights violations and discrimination do not only happen directly, but also through the practical repercussions of the application of regulations and processes (indirect discrimination) or through purposeful distinctions made in regulations and processes (structural discrimination).
EU equal treatment legislation has been implemented in Federal German law, in particular in 2006 with the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG). For the first time, this gives people affected by discrimination according to the AGG, an actionable claim for equal treatment in labour law and in other areas of civil law. Legal provisions for protection against discrimination based on a disability were already in force: in relation to bodies governed by public law, they were encoded in the German Disability Discrimination Act (BGG); and with regard to the relationship between employers and employees with disabilities in the IX. book of the Social Code (SGB IX).
Discrimination can show itself in all actions, statements and failures to act which degrade, disadvantage, harass or threaten people because of their gender, age, ethnic origin, skin colour, language, religion, chronic ill-health or their social or economic status. While including the scope of the AGG, the above deliberately goes beyond it.
The office has the responsibility for all Nuremberg citizens affected by discrimination, but also – independent of a person’s place of residence – for discriminatory events within the city boundaries.
By appointing an officer for discrimination issues and thus extending the function of the Human Rights Office as an anti-discrimination office, the City of Nuremberg has made a further step towards strengthening the equality and equaltreatment of all people and towards fighting all forms of discrimination.
The main fields of activity of anti-discrimination work are counselling in individual cases and preventive action. Counselling in individual cases aims to strengthen the ability to act of people affected by discrimination, while placing those individual cases in a structural context in order to facilitate effective prevention.
Beyond counselling in individual cases, the goal is to document incidents in a systematic and unified way in order to make structural action possible.