Discrimination handling in Germany (2)

Section 2: Legal basis of discrimination handling

The legal basis comes from the ``Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany [1]. This law serves as the German constitution. The English version of the law is provided by Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz and I refer to this version.

The first article of the basic law (Article 1) is ``Human dignity - Human rights - Legally binding force of basic rights'':

  • Human dignity shall be inviolable. To respect and protect it shall be the duty of all state authority.
  • The German people therefore acknowledge inviolable and inalienable human rights as the basis of every community, of peace and of justice in the world.
  • The following basic rights shall bind the legislature, the executive and the judiciary as directly applicable law.
Under the German law, people cannot violate human dignity. On the other hand, the basic law has the freedom of expression in the Article 5: ``Freedom of expression, arts and sciences'':
  • Every person shall have the right freely to express and disseminate his opinions in speech, writing and pictures, and to inform himself without hindrance from generally accessible sources. Freedom of the press and freedom of reporting by means of broadcasts and films shall be guaranteed. There shall be no censorship.
  • These rights shall find their limits in the provisions of general laws, in provisions for the protection of young persons, and in the right to personal honour.
  • Arts and sciences, research and teaching shall be free. The freedom of teaching shall not release any person from allegiance to the constitution.
Thus, the freedom of speech is limited in that it cannot infringe upon by the human dignity. This means hate-speech is a crime since it violate people's human dignity in Germany.

The German criminal code [2] defines incitement to hatred (Volksverhetzung) at Section 130, this prohibits hate-speech. In Section 86a, the code defines ``use of symbols of unconstitutional organizations (Verwenden von Kennzeichen verfassungswidriger Organisationen),'' this concerns the use of symbols like Nazi insignia.

The law ``Allgemeines Gleichstellungsgesetz [3]'' concerns any kind of discrimination including nationality, age, religion, gender, income, disability, and so forth.

Discrimination in most cases is prosecuted as a felony. Although there are some gray zone (e.g., an art project), but the each case will be handled in the court.


  1. Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz, ``Basic Law for the Federal Republic of Germany, English translation version'', http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_gg/englisch_gg.html, (Online; accessed 2015-4-2(Thu))
  2. Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz, ``German criminal code, English translation version'', http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/englisch_stgb/englisch_stgb.html, (Online; accessed 2015-4-2(Thu))
  3. Bundesministerium der Justiz und für Verbraucherschutz, Allgemeines Gleichstellungsgesetz,  http://www.gesetze-im-internet.de/agg/BJNR189710006.html, (Online; accessed 2015-4-2(Thu))


Discrimination handling in Germany (1)

September 5, 2013, I was attacked by a man at a bus station. I was carried to an emergency room.

At that day, my view to discrimination problems has changed. I became a person who cares about such problem, at least more than that day. I believe cooperation is better than hating each other.

Even though I have a small motivation to tackle this problem,  my heart is on education. I believe naively (you could say) that education is a possibility to improve the world. Therefore, my main project is always on education. But, discrimination problems somewhat remain inside of me. That made me to have a few sub-projects of them.

This article is one of them. I asked my friends that how discrimination problems are handled in Germany.


This report introduces an overview of discrimination problem handling in Germany, especially in a company and a university.

First, we see the overview of the German law in Section 2. The human dignity is the most important in the German basic law and discrimination affects the dignity of others. Therefore, discrimination is a crime in Germany.

In Section 3, we see an overview of the historical background of the discrimination problem in Europa.

In Section 4, we see how discrimination problems are handled in Germany.  Each city that has more than 10,000 inhabitants needs payed equal opportunity officers, and these officers handle the problems. A discrimination is a felony crime, therefore, the police must handle them.

In Section 5, we see how discrimination problems are handled in German companies. Companies themselves must not perform illegal activities. One of the organization called Betriebsrat (works council) responds to the problems in a company if it is established. A works council is an in-company organization, so handles company-internal wcases. Trade unions also handle discrimination problems across the companies they represent.

In Section 6, we see how discrimination problems are handled in German universities. Universities have a payed responsible person for equality problems. Some universities have offices for this if the size of university is large.

In Section 7, we see examples of discrimination in real life, examples of equal opportunity offices, and news articles of an example case.


Kubuntu 14.04 X console immediately logged out problem

When I tried to login from X console, I was immediately logged out and cannot login.

1. first try to login by tty. (Control-Alt-F1, for example) I can login by the tty.

2. Check the ~/.xsession-errors file. I have the following (or similar) message.

   /etc/X11/Xsession.d/99x11-common_start ...

Open the /etc/X11/Xsession.d/99x11-common_start file. The line that has an error is

   exec $STARTUP

Some reason, $STARTUP seems not correct.

3. Solution: I commented out that line with #, like,

   # exec $STARTUP

Then it worked again. But, I am not sure what is really causing.