Feasibility Study: Standardised Data Collection

2010

to provide Evidence of Discrimination?! – Review and Outlook

- Factsheet on the feasibility Study -

Measuring discrimination with the aid of quantitative data – possibilities and limits

  • Population and administrative statistics allow a first overview of the inequality that exists between disadvantaged persons and the overall population. However, these data do not permit reliable statements regarding the influence of discrimination.
  • Surveys of the majority population regarding their attitudes towards minority groups are very important sources of additional information. They indicate a social climate in which discrimination is embedded.
  • Surveys of disadvantaged groups provide insights into the subjective dimension of discrimination and are of central importance for certain questions – such as those relating to coping strategies and psychological impact.
  • Testing studies lead to convincing, valid findings as to whether discrimination is present or not.
  • Statistics on discrimination complaints build on the subjective experience of victims but most often extend beyond it.
  • Statistics taken from court rulings can be used as evidence of discrimination. However, a survey among the Labour Courts of the Laender revealed that the court proceedings that would be of relevance to discrimination are not explicitly recorded as such.

Overview: The contact point and counselling centre landscape

The authors observed that Germany is, at present, far removed from being able to boast of a tight-meshed network of anti-discrimination counselling centres or of a uniform recording of cases of discrimination.

  • The majority of the counselling centres lack the necessary sensitivity for discrimination topics and the skills needed to provide professional, anti-discrimination counselling.
  • The existing support opportunities are neither available nor accessible to the affected groups in equal measure.
  • Most of the contact points and counselling centres hardly ever or never document their counselling work.

Nevertheless, not only professional and qualified anti-discrimination counselling, but also trends towards more intensive networking and standardised documentation of complaints can be observed among the rising number of counselling centres.