European Youth Portal
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Discrimination – more common than you think!

© - Kwest
© - Kwest
Fair treatment is a basic right in the EU but discrimination still exists in many forms, and it’s not always easy to identify.

It’s illegal to discriminate on the grounds of a person's age, disability, gender, race, religion or sexual orientation. However, only one-third of EU citizens are fully aware of their rights, so it’s important to learn about your rights and responsibilities. The better informed you are, the better you can fight discrimination.



With the ver.di youth offers you assistance and information when you want to become active against discrimination. Also Amnesty International gives you several options on how to join the fight against discrimination in Europe. You can add your signature to their web actions, comment on the blog or even join the organisation.


Against the exclusion of people withdisabilities involved, is for example Lebenshilfe, a self-help organization for people with intellectual disabilities and their families. You can also become a member of Disability and Development Cooperation Association bezev and by that contribute to the improvement of the situation of people with disabilities in developing countries.


Gesicht Zeigen, lautgegennazis or Amadeu Antonio Stiftung are opposed to racism. Here you can get involved in various projects too.


Forms of discrimination


Direct discrimination happens when a person is treated less well than others because of something that’s not relevant, like their racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation. For example: when a shop owner refuses to hire suitably qualified people simply because they are of a certain race or ethnic origin.


Indirect discrimination happens when apparently neutral rules, criteria or practices would disadvantage people on the grounds of racial or ethnic origin, religion or belief, disability, age or sexual orientation unless the practice can be objectively justified by a legitimate aim. For example, a department store that banned its staff from wearing hats when serving customers would effectively stop anyone from working there who covered their heads on religious grounds, like many Muslim women.


Get help

Have you ever been discriminated against? The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency helps!


Published: Mon, 13/05/2013 - 17:51

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