Germany admits racism is still a societal problem
Racism in Germany is being tackled head on but a lot still needs to be done
Germany has admitted that it needs to deal with domestic racism, responding yesterday to several countries’ concerns about xenophobic and discriminatory attitudes in the country at a UN human rights review session.
“We know that we have to tackle racist positions and discriminatory views in various parts of our society,” the German government’s human rights representative, Baerbel Kofler, said in Geneva.
The session that was devoted to Germany was part of the Universal Periodic Review of human rights that UN member countries undergo every five years. Berlin had already taken countermeasures, Kofler said.
“Racist statements on the Internet are being prosecuted more vigorously,” Kofler said, adding that authorities can ban groups with anti-democratic and inhuman ideologies.
Comments by some member countries
At the UN session, Australia, Bahrain, Algeria and other countries lauded Germany for having taken in large numbers of refugees since 2015, and for implementing international human rights standards. Other countries said they were worried about hate speech, attacks against foreigners, and political parties that spread racist sentiments.
“Despite Germany’s efforts, hate speech remains widespread,” an Egyptian envoy said.
Berlin should train police to fight racism and discrimination, a Belgian representative recommended.