Declaration of intent on the protection against discrimination: North Rhine-Westphalia joins ‘Coalition against Discrimination’

Year of issue 2019
Date 2019.09.17

North Rhine-Westphalia intensifies its efforts to fight discrimination. To this end, its deputy minister president and Minister for Children, Family, Refugees and Integration Joachim Stamp and the acting head of the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency, Bernhard Franke, on Tuesday signed in Düsseldorf a declaration of intent entitled Offensive für eine diskriminierungsfreie Gesellschaft (Campaign in Support of a Non-discriminatory Society). The agreement is aimed at organising joint efforts against discrimination, supporting local points of contact and counselling centres and ensuring that the protection against discrimination is enshrined in policy in all sectors.

"In signing the declaration, the Land states very clearly that anti-discrimination policy is a management-level issue, and sends out a clear signal against exclusion and for diversity", Franke said after the signing of the declaration of intent. "I am particularly pleased that, as of the coming year, funding for low-threshold counselling services is to be increased", said Franke. "In the longer term, I would wish for North Rhine-Westphalia to have its own Anti-Discrimination Agency – its neighbouring Laender Hesse and Rhineland-Palatinate have set a good example in this respect", Franke stated.

"In signing the declaration, we in North Rhine-Westphalia send out a clear signal: We will not tolerate discrimination. We stand for a diverse and open society. In collaboration with the Coalition, we will continue to fight for equal opportunities and social cohesion", stated Stamp.

By signing the Campaign in Support of a Non-Discriminatory Society, the signatories express their willingness to take decisive steps against discrimination, improving local counselling services and developing joint anti-discrimination strategies. Following Berlin, Hamburg, Brandenburg, Bremen, Rhineland-Palatinate, Schleswig-Holstein, Thuringia, Baden-Wuerttemberg, Lower Saxony, Hesse and Saxony, North Rhine-Westphalia is now the twelfth Land to sign the declaration and join the Coalition against Discrimination.

In Germany, the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) prohibits discrimination, in working life and when concluding contracts, based on age, disability, ethnic origin, gender, sexual identity and religion or beliefs.

The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency (ADS for its initials in German) was established when the General Equal Treatment Act (German abbreviation: AGG) entered into force in August 2006. This Act aims to prevent or eliminate any discrimination on grounds of racism or ethnic origin, gender, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation.