Berlin passes first German state anti-discrimination law

07.06.2020 - Deutsche Welle

Berlin passes first German state anti-discrimination law

The city-state’s new law explicitly bars public authorities, including police, from discriminating based on skin color, gender and other factors. Lawmakers say the new rules help to address systemic racism in Germany.

Berlin became the first German state to pass its own anti-discrimination law on Thursday, with a majority of state lawmakers approving the law.

The law explicitly bars public authorities — including police and public schools — from discriminating based on background, skin color, gender, religion, physical or mental disability, worldview, age and sexual identity.

People can also not be discriminated against based on a lack of German language skills, a chronic illness, or on their income, education or occupation.

Under the law, victims are entitled to damages and compensation. Public authorities also have the opportunity to dispute claims of discrimination.

Although the law has been in the works for weeks, it’s taken on a new dimension in light of the anti-police brutality and anti-racism protests that have erupted in the United States and spread around the world — including Berlin.

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