On 18 August 2006 the German Equal Treatment Act (AGG) entered into force. It transposes four European anti-discrimination directives adopted from 2000 to 2004 into German law.
The purpose of the AGG is to prevent or eliminate racial discrimination or discrimination based on ethnic origin, sex, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual identity (Article 1 AGG). The AGG defines the rights and legal consequences of discriminations both in employment and also in civil law.
After the Act entered into force in 2006 the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency (ADS) was established. This is an independent contact point for persons who were the victim of discrimination. ADS and its tasks are defined in the German Equal Treatment Act and comply with the equal treatment directives of the EU. Everyone can turn to the ADS and receive advice when he/she is discriminated against and is in need of help.
ADS has an advisory council with representatives of several groups and organisations in society, and experts in the field of discrimination. The task of the advisory council is to advise the ADS in drafting reports and recommendations to the German Federal Parliament. It can also make its own proposals to these documents or to make proposals for scientific research. Romani Rose, the chair of the Central Council of German Sinti and Roma, was appointed as member of the advisory council.
The propagation and publicising of the German Equal Treatment Act (AGG) and the dissemination of knowledge about the work of the Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency (ADS) is an important task for all the actors. In the field of discrimination of the autochthonous national minorities this is also an important focus area of the Minority Secretariat.