Pursuant to the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination adopted in 1966, this form of discrimination shall mean “any distinction, exclusion, restriction or preference […] which has the purpose or effect of nullifying or impairing the recognition, enjoyment or exercise, on an equal footing, of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the political, economic, social, cultural or any other field of public life”.
Racial discrimination is directed against the perceived colour of a person’s skin or his or her outer appearance; it may also be aimed at an (ascribed) ethnic origin, nationality, migratory background, language, religion or philosophy of life, as far as these are linked with exclusion and degradation, which is justified with an alleged inferiority by nature.
The Berlin Senate actively opposes racism and ethnic discrimination and pursues a large number of activities to fight racism, such as:
- State Action Plan against Racism and ethnic Discrimination in the Berlin Administration
- European City Coalition against Racism (ECCAR)
- EU Project: European Cities Against Racism – Responsibilities Of Cities In Counteracting Racism Sustainably (ECAR)
- Borough Action Plan against Racism and ethnic Discrimination
Due to the fact that right wing extremism, racism and anti-Semitism are a fundamental threat for the democratic culture and the cohesion of every society, the Berlin Senate has established Democracy. Diversity. Respect., a program for funding initiatives to prevent right wing extremism, racism and anti-Semitism. This program supports 40 projects annually, in order to strengthen democratic structures and civil society. Guiding projects are a specific counselling-team for victims of racist motivated violence, two mobile counselling teams to support community development and several projects of political education as extracurricular activities.