European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI)

Fifth report on Germany [en] - [fr] –[German]

Press Release – 25.02.2014

German version

The Council of Europe’s anti-racism committee publishes a new report on Germany

Strasbourg, 25.02.2014 - The European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) today published its fifth report on Germany. Christian Ahlund, Chair of ECRI, said that there are positive developments but that some concerns remain, including the lack of facilities and resources to assist victims of discrimination and the under-representation of children of immigrant background in pre-schools and secondary schools preparing pupils for university.

On a positive note, the Federal Chancellery and the Lšnder have updated the National Integration Plan and some Lšnder have set up their own agencies to combat discrimination. The Ministries of Justice of the Federation and the Lšnder are considering strengthening the requirement for police and prosecutors to investigate whether offences are racially motivated. Initiatives have been taken to investigate the presence of such a motivation in a series of former cases of homicide. The legal situation of lesbians, gays, bisexual and transgender persons (LGBT) has been much improved, inter alia through the Constitutional Court.

At the same time, many victims of racist or homo-/transphobic offences do not file a complaint with the police, and a legislative initiative expressly providing for more severe punishment for racially-motivated offences failed. The Federal Agency for combating discrimination does not have the resources to assist victims throughout Germany and most of the Lšnder do not have such an agency. Politicians and the media do not always condemn public statements of a xenophobic nature. The Action Plan against Racism has not been updated since 2008. In several Lšnder there is no strategy to promote tolerance towards LGBT people.

In its report, ECRI has made several recommendations to the authorities, among which the following two require priority implementation and will be reviewed by ECRI in two years’ time:

  • the ratification of Protocol No. 12 to the European Convention on Human Rights on the general prohibition of discrimination;
  • the reform of the system for recording and tracking "racist, xeno-, homo / transphobic" incidents so that all cases containing such a motivation are thoroughly investigated.

The report is available here. It was prepared following ECRI’s contact visit to Germany in March 2013 [Press release] and takes account of developments up to 21 June 2013.

ECRI is a human rights body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts, which monitors problems of racism, xenophobia, antisemitism, intolerance and discrimination on grounds such as “race”, national/ethnic origin, colour, citizenship, religion and language (racial discrimination); it prepares reports and issues recommendations to member States.

For more information on ECRI: www.coe.int/ecri

Press contact: Stefano Valenti, Tel.: +33 (0)3 90 21 43 28, stefano.valenti@coe.int