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Wir haben seit Anfang 2016 unseren Betrieb vorläufig eingestellt und bereiten gerade den Übergang zu einer neuen Generation von anti-rassistischen "Advocates", die qualitative Forschung und Advocacy verknüpfen. Wir suchen Interessierte, die an der Weiterführung der Tradition des iMiR sich aktive beteiligen wollen. Mehr dazu in unseren FAQ's.
In 2008 the foreign population decreased in Germany, coupled with an increase in the number of German citizens with a migrant background. Since 2005 German statistics define Germans with a migrant background as those who themselves or whose parents or grandparents had migrated to Germany after 1949. Migrants from Turkey and ethnic Germans from the former Soviet Union are the largest groups. Most vulnerable groups are undocumented migrants, Jews, Muslims, asylum seekers, Roma and Sinti.
Manifestations of racism and religious discrimination in Germany are described in the following areas:
Employment: It is not limited to having a migrant background which leads to discrimination in the labour market, also often, religious affiliation is a factor. Often the apparent lack of German language skills or assumed insurmountable cultural differences is given as reasons for discrimination. The rigorous German practice of not recognizing and accrediting foreign certificates are further obstacles for many migrants in the job market. Despite skills and competencies migrant students feel discriminated against in the labour market and do not feel accepted and appreciated despite their equal qualifications to Germans.
Housing: The housing quality of immigrants and Germans have improved in the last 20 years. However, immigrants are still disadvantaged particularly regarding the quality of housing and facilities such as heating and living space. In addition, they also pay higher rent. The ethnic background of applicants plays an important role in the process of awarding flats.
Education: Low socio-economic position coupled with a migrant background still reduces educational opportunities of children in Germany. The marked difference in educational achievements of pupils with a foreign passport and native Germans is still increasing. Differences remain even when both groups have the same socio-economic background. At the same time there are large differences within the group of “alien” pupils concerning their chances to achieve a high school degree. Especially the area of vocational and professional training is dire. Young people with a migrant background are much less successful in getting a placement for a professional training than their German counterparts.
Health: Unemployment, cramped domestic situation, pressure to adapt, often have an extraordinary psychological and physical impact on migrants. These stresses in turn may lead to illnesses and domestic violence. Particularly violence against women in migrant families often go ignored. Compared to the majority society migrants use health services less frequently which is a direct result of unequal access to medical services and also unequal claim for health services. Another vulnerable group is undocumented migrants who, due to their illegal status have very limited access to health care facilities and do not use health care facilities, because of fear of being detected and deported. Many torture victims, who have neither health service documents nor are able to speak German, do not receive the necessary and appropriate treatment. This is largely due to the fact that the majority of mental health professionals are unable to conduct therapy in the mother tongue of their patients.
Policing and racial profiling: German military forces are involved in the war in Afghanistan and training camps on the border between Afghanistan and Pakistan are thought to be one of the major locations where Islamists from Europe travel to be trained as terrorists. As a result, Muslims who travel to this area are suspected of planning terrorist attacks in Germany. Discourses on Muslims are often linked to security concerns and they are increasingly portrayed as being anti- democratic and violent. This in turn negatively impacts on the way the police engage with Muslims in everyday policing. An ongoing problem is the situation of asylum seekers in police custody. It often takes a long time and a lot of pressure from NGOs to shed light into the death of asylum seekers in police custody.
Racist violence and crime: Despite a slight decrease in the previous years, recent surveys have shown a considerable frequency of xenophobic and Islamophobic attitudes within German society. Police figures show as well a noticeable increase in xenophobic crimes. For the first time, the records for 2008, present figures for hate crimes. Statistics for anti-Semitic violent crimes show as well an increase.
Access to goods and services in the public and private sector: There are various areas in the public and private sector in which discriminatory practices still occur, but consistent data is only partially available. Fields, which require particular attention, are: Health care facilities, banking and financial credits for refugees and immigrants and entrance to leisure facilities.
Media, including the internet: Mass-media play a major role in reproducing stereotyping discourses. At the same time ethnic minorities and migrants are not proportionally represented in the industry which influences how migrants are represented in the mainstream German media. On the other hand it can be observed that successful migrants are not perceived as foreigners or strangers, but as Germans. Increasingly the internet becomes the space in which racist and discriminatory views are distributed among the public. Minorities like Roma and Sinti, as well Muslims, are the main targets of discriminatory websites.
The political and legal contexts of these manifestations are described according to four aspects:
Anti-discrimination: The first court decisions within the context of the Equal Treatment Act (AGG, implementing the race directives) of 2006, have been taken. The Federal Cabinet finally adopted the National Action Plan (NAP)agreed upon at the Durban World Conference Against Racism (WCAR) in 2001. The NAP was criticized by NGOs for the lack of a sound analysis of the motives, extent, manifestations and effects of racism and racist discrimination in Germany. After two years of existence, both the General Equal Treatment Act (AGG) and the Federal Anti-discrimination body have been criticized by NGOs for its apparent weakness and the failure of the Federal Anti-discrimination body to meet its obligations. One being the essential need of informing people adequately about their rights.
Migration and integration: The ‘European Pact for Immigration and Asylum’ paved the way for more rigorous practices of German authorities towards undocumented migrants and their families. While the third summit on integration presented first interim results of the ‘National Plan to Integration’ (NIP) of 2007 and was centred on language improvement of migrants, the ‘German Islam Conference’ (DIK) was dominated by questions of national security and the requirements of Islamic religious instruction at schools. NGOs criticized the NIP for not addressing problems of racism, discrimination, residency and citizenship. One such effect of discriminatory legislation was the decrease of residence permits for the immigration of spouses in the first half of 2008. This followed the decision in 2007 whereby migrants were now forced to have German language skills prior to entering the country. For the first time several thousand youth who had dual citizenship since birth, were compelled to forfeit one of these two citizenships. The limitations on the freedom of movement of workers from the new EU member states were retained.
Racism as a crime: New funding programmes to financially support initiatives against right-wing extremist tendencies were established at Federal and Länder level. A bill to include the concept of hate crimes into criminal law, which was passed by the Upper House in 2007, was rejected by the Federal Government. International NGOs criticized Germany for the violation of human rights, particularly regarding the handling of refugees and asylum seekers and the insufficient action against human rights abuses in the context of the US led “war against terrorism”.
Counter- terrorism: There is a noticeable increase in the collaboration between politics, the military and science related to questions of national security. The heterogeneous society as a result of immigration is seen as a concern to security and migrants are constructed as potential security threats. There is a general suspicion towards migrants and international students particularly from non-European and Muslim countries. On the other hand the liaison between Muslim organizations and security authorities in Germany has improved. A new political development manifested itself in the summer, when the local party “Pro Köln” (Pro Cologne) invited all major European right-wing parties to an “Anti-Islamisation Congress” in Cologne. A broad coalition of both Muslims and non- Muslims prevented this event from taking place by protesting and thereby blocking off the entire city.
Racial profiling: The efforts to limit immigration provided new ways of gathering information and setting up databases for law enforcement. Additionally 9/11 has been taken as a pretext for data mining exercises in Germany. Muslims, Sinti and Roma and migrant groups have complained of being confronted with suspicion and constantly having to prove their legal residence status or their innocence, with stigmatizing effects on individuals and on entire communities. The foreign population is registered in the Central Registry of Aliens. The European Court of Justice decided that this data base may only retain those data, which are absolutely necessary for the application of the rules for the residence law. A utilization of the data to fight crime for statistical purposes is prohibited.
Social inclusion: The Federal Government has established a new form of monitoring integration. This involves the introduction of 14 life spheres whereby people are to be monitored to measure and determine their progress and highlight the challenges for integration. The necessity for integration into ‘German culture’ applies to all whose origin is non-Western. Integration is criticized by NGOs as an undefined concept that has become a never ending demand for the migrant population to meet.