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Report of the Special Rapporteur on contemporary forms of racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia and related intolerance. Addendum: Mission to Germany, A/HRC/14/43/Add.2, 22 February 2010


B. The General Equal Treatment Act

15. In 2006, the General Equal Treatment Act (Allgemeines Gleichbehandlungsgesetz) was enacted by parliament, coming into force on 18 August 2006. The Act is in fact a transposition into German law of some key European Union (EU) anti-discrimination directives. As section 1 of the Act states, its purpose “is to prevent or stop discrimination on the grounds of race or ethnic origin, gender, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation”. It prohibits discrimination on these grounds in a variety of areas, including employment, vocational training, membership or involvement in workers’ and employers’ organizations, social protection, health care, education and housing. In this regard, the Act is an important milestone in offering specific protection to vulnerable groups in Germany, creating a particular set of rights that can be pursued through the courts and making more specific the general equal treatment provision contained in the Constitution.

Link to full text of the report: