How should I cope/react?

Treating people unequally because of certain characteristics, i.e. discrimination, is prohibited by law in Germany but that does not mean it is not common. During flat-hunting, at work, in government facilities, schools, doctor's offices, during leisure time or at the police station -- discrimination can happen in all areas of life. You were denied entry to the club because you have a disability? You did not get the job because of your headscarf? Do your children face inadequate support at school because they speak little German? You have been singled out and checked by the police on a long-distance bus because of your skin colour? The taxi driver refused to take you to your destination because you are transgender? These are all forms of discrimination which may occur on a daily basis-experiences which often leave the victims with feelings of anger and powerlessness. But you neither have to stay silent and take the mistreatment, nor you are helpless. You have the right to defend yourself against discrimination. Everyone in Germany is entitled to such right, regardless of their origin or residence status. This is anchored in the German Basic Law as one of the fundamental human rights. That means when facing discrimination, you can take legal action against the perpetrator.

What do I need to know?

What is Discrimination?

Am I being discriminated against?

Which laws protect me from discrimination?

How can I prove that I have been discriminated against?

What can I do if I am discriminated against by the police?

Where can I find help and support?

How can an anti-discrimination counselling centre support me?

In which situations different treatment is permissible?

What is linguistic discrimination?


If you want to take legal action against discriminatory treatment in your work or everyday life, you need to act quickly and report the incident within two months. If you want to report police officers for mistreatment and discriminatory behaviour, you have to do so within three months.