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TITLE:  GERMANY HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1993                            
DATE:  JANAURY 31, 1994


The Federal Republic of Germany (FRG) is a constitutional 
federal republic and a parliamentary democracy.  The head of 
the Federal Government, the Chancellor, is elected by the 
Bundestag, the lower house of Parliament.  The powers of the 
Chancellor and of the Parliament, which are substantial, are 
set down in the Basic Law, Germany's Constitution.  
Governmental authority is also divided between national and 
state (Land) governments.  The states enjoy significant 
autonomy, especially in matters relating to law enforcement and 
the courts, culture and education, the environment, and social 

The police system is organized essentially at the state level 
and operates under the direction of state governments.  Police 
forces, in the vast majority of cases, are well-trained, 
disciplined, and careful in respecting citizens' rights.  
Police in eastern states, almost exclusively holdovers from the 
former German Democratic Republic (GDR), are still undergoing a 
difficult transition to a complex new legal system and 
different police methods.  For example, a 6-month investigation 
of last year's Rostock riots resulted in the dismissal of the 
Land Interior Minister (who refused to accept any criticism of 
his conduct or police actions).  A western German was appointed 
to replace him.  The Mayor of Rostock announced his resignation 
in November 1993 after the City Parliament produced a report 
critical of his actions during the disturbances.  Police in the 
Hessian city of Fulda came under heavy criticism in August when 
they failed to prevent an illegal right-wing demonstration 
marking the suicide of Nazi war criminal Rudolf Hess while 
simultaneously detaining a group of left-wing 
counter-demonstrators outside the city.  In contrast, police 
forces in the eastern states of Thuringia, Saxony-Anhalt, and 
Brandenburg, who had in previous years been criticized for 
their failure to deter right-wing extremists, received praise 
for their success in thwarting illegal right-wing 
demonstrations on the anniversaries of both Hess's suicide and 
1992's Rostock asylum home attacks.  Improved police training 
and law enforcement methods, as well as new preemptive 
measures, contributed to the police's successes.

Despite a decline in economic output and rising unemployment in 
1993, Germany's industrial economy afforded its residents a 
high standard of living.  In eastern Germany, the number of 
registered jobless reached almost 1.2 million by the end of the 
year, a rate of over 15 percent, as adjustment to the market 
economy continued.  These figures did not reflect the 
substantial number of underemployed workers, persons enrolled 
in temporary work or training programs, or those forced into 
early retirement, which would swell the proportion to perhaps 
one-third of the work force.  Women continue to suffer 
disproportionately from unemployment in Eastern Germany.  
Unemployment also worsened in the west as the jobless rate 
there rose to 8.1 percent, with some 2.5 million without jobs.  
Most observers forecast a return to modest economic growth in 
1994, but saw little hope for relief on the employment front in 
the near term.  Germany's leadership began a discussion of some 
of the structural issues which were perceived to contribute to 
economic stagnation and unemployment, such as inappropriate 
fiscal, regulatory, and social policies.

The Basic Law, adopted in 1949, rests firmly on the principles 
of liberty, equality, and the free exercise of individual 
rights.  In practice, these human rights are protected in 
almost all cases; further, protection against racial and ethnic 
intolerance is provided for under law.  However, incidents of 
violence and harassment directed at foreigners, particularly 
non-Europeans, continued in 1993 and occurred throughout 
Germany.  According to the German Federal Police, 5,681 
anti-foreigner incidents (1,341 of which were violent) occurred 
during the first 11 months of 1993, compared to 5,306 during 
the first 11 months of 1992.  The Federal Office for the 
Protection of the Constitution recorded 1,699 instances of 
violence committed by right-wing extremists (against foreigners 
and others) in the first 11 months of 1993, compared to 2,584 
during all of 1992.  Federal authorities recorded 267 
antiforeigner motivated arson attacks through November 30, 
including the May 29 firebombing of a Turkish home in the town 
of Solingen which killed five persons.  As of November 30, 
right-wing violence had claimed a total of 19 lives.  To a 
large degree, these attacks were perpetrated by alienated 
youths, many of them "skinheads", and a small core of 
neo-Nazis.  All the major parties and all of the leading 
representatives of the Federal Republic denounced the violence, 
and there was widespread acknowledgment that police willingness 
and ability to deal with such violence has notably improved.

In the wake of criticism over lenient treatment of perpetrators 
of antiforeigner violence, judges began to levy heavier 
sentences in cases where defendants were motivated by 
right-wing hatred.  Critics continued to maintain, however, 
that the judicial system failed to treat rightist perpetrators 
as severely as leftists had been treated during previous 
decades' political violence.  Government officials recommended 
new legislation designed to enhance law enforcement 
authorities' abilities to cope with right-wing violence.  There 
was also extensive debate about changing citizenship and 
naturalization laws to enable second and third generation 
non-Germans to attain citizenship more easily.  Some of the 
actions taken by the Government to address antiforeigner 
violence--such as the banning of certain neo-Nazi 
organizations, the investigation of extremist political 
parties, and the censoring of right-wing rock music, books, and 
symbols--raised legal and human rights concerns (see 
Section 2.).


Section 1  Respect for the Integrity of the Person, Including 
           Freedom from:

     a.  Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

Politically motivated killing by the Government or by 
mainstream political organizations is unknown.  For the second 
year in a row, there were no assassinations by the left-wing 
terrorist Red Army Faction (RAF).  A bungled police action to 
arrest two suspected RAF terrorists, however, resulted in the 
death of a policeman as well as one of the suspects.  The RAF 
suspect was killed by a point-blank shot to his head, and 
witnesses gave contradictory statements.  The Government 
investigated allegations that this shooting was a deliberate, 
extrajudicial execution, and responsible senior officials, 
including the Interior Minister and the acting head of the 
Federal Police, resigned due to the mismanagement of the 
affair, while the Prosecutor-General was fired.  Although 
questions continued to be raised in the press and elsewhere 
about who killed the RAF member, two of three independently 
commissioned reports concluded that the suspected terrorist 
used his own weapon to kill himself.  Swiss police forensics 
investigators also concluded that the suspect was killed by his 
own weapon, and probably by his own hand.  After reviewing 
these independent reports, the public prosecutor investigating 
the case concluded that the RAF terrorist, with the intent to 
commit suicide, shot himself in the head following the shootout 
with police authorities.

In a few instances, police in Berlin and the eastern states 
were accused of mistreating foreigners taken into custody.  In 
one of the most egregious cases covered in the press, an 
officer in the Saxony-Anhalt town of Stassfurt fatally shot an 
unarmed Romanian asylum seeker in January as the latter fled 
from guards inside a detention center.  The victim was being 
held because he was unable to provide police with identity 
papers.  The officer responsible was immediately suspended, but 
no charges were filed against him as a result of the ensuing 
internal investigation.  The fact that the State Prosecutor's 
Office did not publicly announce the incident until over 2 
weeks later led to charges of a cover-up.  The internal 
investigation concluded that no action needed to be taken 
against the officer, and at year's end the Saxony-Anhalt State 
Prosecutor's office was considering whether or not to press 
charges.  Three murders also occurred in Germany among rival 
foreign political factions (e.g., Iranians, Kurds and Turks, 
and Serbs and Croats).  The FRG pressed charges in these cases.

     b.  Disappearance

Governmental or police authorities do not abduct, secretly 
arrest, or otherwise illegally detain persons.

     c.  Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman, or Degrading 
         Treatment or Punishment

There was no indication that police authorities engaged in 
these practices.  However, as noted in Section 1.a., there were 
a few reports of police abuse of foreigners taken into 
custody.  As of September 30, 16 Berlin police officers had 
been charged with racially motivated physical mistreatment of 
foreigners.  Thus far, the Berlin Prosecutor's Office has 
investigated four cases, dismissing charges in each instance 
either because of clear evidence of innocence or because of 
insufficient proof of guilt.  Investigations of the remaining 
12 cases were underway or pending at year's end.  In August 700 
Vietnamese demonstrated in eastern Berlin to protest alleged 
mistreatment of former GDR contract workers and alleged illegal 
search and seizure practices by Berlin authorities.  A lawsuit 
filed by a 14-year-old Turkish Kurd boy, who alleged he was 
injured during a 1992 arrest in Bremen, was dropped by the 
prosecutor.  The plaintiff appealed the decision.

     d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

Unless caught in the act of committing a crime, no person may 
be arrested except on the basis of an arrest warrant issued by 
a competent judicial authority.  Any person detained by the 
police must be brought before a judge and charged no later than 
the day following the day of apprehension.  The court must then 
issue an arrest warrant with stated reasons for detention or 
order the person's release.

There is no preventive detention.  A suspect may be held in 
custody for up to 24 hours while awaiting a formal charge if 
there is evidence that he might seek to flee the country to 
avoid prosecution.  German law allows the right of free access 
to legal counsel to be restricted only if evidence exists that 
contact with a specific attorney is being used to promote 
unlawful activity.  Only judges may decide on the validity of 
any deprivation of liberty.  Bail bond exists but is seldom 
employed.  There is no exile.

     e.  Denial of Fair Public Trial

Trials are public.  The Basic Law assures due process and 
prohibits double jeopardy.  The judiciary is free of both 
government interference and intimidation by terrorists.  There 
are no political prisoners.  The court system, largely 
specialized, has five components: "ordinary" (criminal and 
civil cases); labor (disputes between employers and unions); 
administrative (administrative law); "social" (social 
security); and fiscal (taxation).  The Federal Constitutional 
Court is the supreme court.

In the states formerly a part of the German Democratic Republic 
(GDR), there has been substantial progress in reforming the 
courts to meet western German standards.  One remaining area of 
weakness concerns a shortage of qualified judges in the eastern 
states.  Many experienced judges were disqualified for reasons 
relating to their political and judicial conduct under the GDR, 
and many judges had to be brought in from the west (see Section 
2 b.).  Virtually all significant Justice Ministry officials 
and 70 percent of all judges and prosecutors in the eastern 
states are now from western Germany.  Faced with severe 
personnel shortages, large case backlogs, and deep-reaching 
reorganization, eastern Germany's legal apparatus was slow to 
prosecute cases of extremist violence dating from the spate of 
right-wing attacks in late 1992 and continuing extremist 
activity in 1993.  For example, of the roughly 200 arrests 
stemming from the Rostock riots--the largest single incident of 
right-wing violence in 1992--only about 40 people had faced 
trial by year's end.  Of these, all but three were found 
guilty, mostly of arson, disturbing the peace, and attempted 
assault.  Several initial charges of attempted manslaughter 
brought against participants in the Rostock asylum home attacks 
were reduced to arson, disturbing the peace, and attempted 
assault.  The most severe sentence meted out to an individual 
connected with the riots--3 years in prison--was handed down 
for arson and aggravated breach of the public peace.  Six 
persons received prison sentences of up to 3 years.  Other 
convictions resulted in sentences of probation or juvenile 

Sentences for acts of right-wing violence, such as those meted 
out in the Rostock trials, elicited widespread criticism that 
the legal system was too lenient with right-wing extremists.  
In part due to such criticism, as 1993 progressed, prosecutors 
increasingly sought convictions for attempted murder or 
attempted manslaughter in cases where right-wing arson attacks 
or individual assaults resulted, or could have resulted, in 
bodily injury to foreigners.  When successful, convictions led 
to sentences of from 4 to 8 years.  However, convictions and 
sentences varied greatly from state to state and from judge to 

Germany's Juvenile Penal Code mandates more lenient sentencing 
and an emphasis on rehabilitation for criminals 21 years old or 
younger.  The vast majority of perpetrators of right-wing 
crimes are adolescents who fall into this category, some as 
young as 12 to 14 years of age.  German authorities are 
debating whether to lower the age for adult sentencing to 18, 
in part in an effort to stiffen punishments for right-wing 

     f.  Arbitrary Interference with Privacy, Family, Home, or 

The inviolability of the home is ensured by the Basic Law and 
respected in practice.  Prior to forcible entry by police into 
a home, a warrant must be issued by a judge or, in an 
emergency, by a public prosecutor.  Electronic surveillance or 
monitoring of mail may be undertaken only after authorization 
by a court order.  Membership in political parties is 
completely voluntary.  Coercive population control and forced 
resettlement are unknown.

Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press

The provisions of the Basic Law, an independent press, an 
effective judiciary, and a functioning democratic political 
system combine to ensure freedom of speech and press.  
Criticism of the Government is unrestricted.  The media are not 
censored.  In an effort to combat right-wing violence, the 
Government conducted a sweeping crackdown on the right-wing 
rock music industry.  This action included the raiding of homes 
and offices of industry personnel and the seizing of 
recordings.  The Government outlawed the sale, manufacture, and 
distribution of materials of at least five neo-Nazi rock bands 
whose songs advocate violence and racism.  There is no general 
censorship of foreign or domestic books, although Nazi 
propaganda is illegal.  Certain Nazi and neo-Nazi insignia, 
slogans, and salutes are prohibited.

Newspapers and magazines are privately owned.  Radio and 
television networks and stations function, for the most part, 
as corporations under special public laws.  They are governed 
by independent boards made up of representatives of churches, 
political parties, and other organizations.

Academic freedom is effectively guaranteed.

     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

The rights of assembly and association are fully respected, as 
is the right to demonstrate.  Organizers of street 
demonstrations are required to obtain police permits beforehand 
and may be asked to pay a deposit to cover the repair of any 
damage to public facilities.  Such police permits are routinely 
granted.  When demonstrators have not obtained the required 
permits, police have exercised restraint, showing concern 
ultimately only for the continued functioning of public 
facilities and for the safety of the general public.

Membership in nongovernmental organizations of all types, 
including political parties, is generally open.  Parties found 
to be "fundamentally antidemocratic" may, however, be 
outlawed.  Under this constitutionally based provision, the 
Federal Constitutional Court in the 1950's declared both a 
neo-Nazi and a Communist party to be illegal, a ban still in 
effect.  In 1993 several extremist parties continued to be  
under observation, i.e., subject to telephone taps, 
infiltration by undercover agents, and document searches, by 
the Office for the Protection of the Constitution (BFV, the 
internal security service).  In order to conduct such 
monitoring, law enforcement authorities must obtain 
authorization from a judge to install telephone taps, and 
search warrants are required for document searches.  In 
September, the Government asked the Federal Constitutional 
Court to ban the far-right Free German Workers' Party on 
grounds of threatening the democratic order.  Four far-right 
political organizations, which did not enjoy legal status 
aspolitical parties, were banned in November and December 1992 
on grounds of "endangering or attempting to overthrow the free 
and democratic constitutional order" or "directing efforts 
damaging to the idea of international understanding 
(Voelkerverstaendigung)."  The BFV reported that 43,000 people 
belonged to far-right organizations in 1993, of whom some 6,400 
were considered violence-prone.

In accordance with the German Unification Treaty's provision 
that previous collaboration with the former GDR secret police 
is incompatible with state service, background checks of all 
upper-level civil servants from eastern Germany are conducted.  
Eastern German judges and prosecutors are now investigated to 
determine whether they collaborated with the Stasi secret 
police in the GDR or were responsible for politically motivated 
trials or sentences.  Commissions within the state ministries 
of justice then conduct hearings during which examinees are 
shown any damaging information and given the opportunity to 
respond.  Decisions of the commissions can be appealed in 
court.  A federal law was passed after German unification 
providing for similar background checks of eastern German 
lawyers and notaries.  The checks are conducted by state 
ministries of justice as well as by lawyers chambers.  
Examinees receive a hearing, and can appeal a negative decision 
in court.

     c.  Freedom of Religion

The full practice of religion is allowed.  Almost 50 different 
churches and religious denominations exist, but most of the 
population belongs to the Catholic or Protestant churches.  
Together with the small Jewish community, these churches hold a 
special legal status as corporate bodies under public law, 
giving them, for instance, the right to participate in a 
state-administered church tax system.  The rest of the 
population either practices no religion or belongs to small 
independent Christian churches or other faiths, such as Islam.  
The Government subsidizes church-affiliated schools and 
provides religious instruction in schools and universities for 
those belonging to the Protestant, Catholic, and Jewish faiths.

Members of the Church of Scientology have complained of 
harassment, including being fired from jobs and being expelled 
(or not permitted to join) political parties solely because of 
their affiliation with Scientology.  Scientologists have 
successfully taken such grievances to court.

     d.  Freedom of Movement Within the Country, Foreign 
         Travel, Emigration, and Repatriation

German citizens are free to move anywhere within the country 
and to leave and return at any time.

The Basic Law guarantees ethnic Germans automatic German 
citizenship and the right to legal residence without 
restrictions.  The number of such ethnic Germans coming from 
eastern Europe and the former Soviet Union to settle in Germany 
in 1993 showed a continued decrease from the all-time high 2 
years before.  Through November 1993, 191,845 ethnic Germans 
had registered to resettle in Germany.  This total included 
181,167 from the countries of the former Soviet Union, 5,228 
from Poland, and 5,190 from Romania.

Immigrants who are not ethnic Germans can acquire citizenship 
if they meet certain requirements: legal residence in Germany 
for at least 10 years (5 years for those married to Germans); 
renunciation of all other citizenships; and a basic knowledge 
of German (along with some other minor requirements).  German 
citizenship is not granted automatically; application is 
necessary.  Legal long-term residents often opt not to apply.  
They receive the same social benefits as do German citizens 
and, after 10 years of legal residency, are automatically 
entitled to permanent residency.  Representatives of the 
Turkish, and of the Sinti and Roma Gypsy communities, have 
criticized the citizenship policy as unjust and 
discriminatory.  The Government at year's end was considering 
whether or not to liberalize the naturalization law.

The right to asylum for foreigners who are politically 
persecuted is guaranteed under the Basic Law.  A record 438,191 
asylum seekers entered the FRG in 1992.  During the first 6 
months of 1993, before a new, more restrictive asylum law took 
effect, another 244,718 applications for asylum were filed.  
During the first 4 months following implementation of the new 
asylum law, applications dropped to 47,795.  The Government 
provides food, clothing, and shelter to asylum seekers during 
processing of their applications, often a matter of several 
months or more.  As the influx of foreigners steadily 
increased, placing a heavy burden on an economy already 
severely strained by the financial costs of reunification, 
domestic political pressure to restrict the asylum law became 

On May 26, the Parliament approved a constitutional amendment 
reforming the asylum process; it went into effect on July 1.  
The new law greatly restricted the circumstances under which an 
individual could qualify for political asylum.  Persons 
originating directly from countries presumed free of 
persecution ("safe third countries") would not normally be able 
to claim political asylum.  Such applicants would, however, 
have the right to request an administrative review of their 
applications while still in Germany.  Persons entering Germany 
via European Union (EU) countries or through identified "safe 
third countries" also would not be eligible to apply for asylum 
while in Germany.  The new law permits the Government to 
identify "safe countries of origin" based on criteria such as 
human rights reports and German Embassy reporting.  Adherence 
to the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of 
Refugees and its 1967 Protocol is not a criterion for "safe 
country of origin" status.  Countries designated as "safe third 
countries," however, must be signatories of the Geneva 
Convention and Protocol.

Opponents of the new law argued that few third countries could 
be universally termed "safe," and that the law, in failing to 
allow applicants to rebut the "safe third country" presumption, 
would prohibit legitimate asylum seekers from entering 
Germany.  The U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees has expressed 
concerns about the "safe country" concept, and the language is 
being reviewed by the Federal Constitutional Court.  Legal 
recourse against a negative decision by the authorities on an 
asylum application also was limited by the new law.  Critics 
questioned too the quality of the hearings allowed for 
individuals appealing the "safe country of origin" presumption, 
given the short time (48 hours) allotted for review of these 
cases.  Immediately after the new law went into effect, 14 
asylum applicants appealed their deportation orders to the 
Constitutional Court.  Several were granted temporary stays of 
deportation pending further review of their cases.

Two months after implementation of the new asylum law, the 
number of asylum applications had fallen by one-half.  
Processing had already been accelerated following the 
introduction of new, automated procedures in April.  A second 
law passed in conjunction with the new asylum law, which 
reduced the share of welfare benefits provided to asylum 
seekers to 75 percent of that generally allotted to German 
citizens, was partially responsible for the drop in 
applications.  Exceptions are made in such instances as large 
families with small children.  Vouchers and hot meals replaced 
the reduced cash payments made to asylum seekers, lessening the 
appeal of a stint as an asylum seeker in Germany.

Short of the right to vote, those granted formal asylum status 
enjoy full civil rights.  While approximately 5 percent of the 
asylum seekers succeed in their requests for political asylum, 
denial of political asylum does not automatically result in 
deportation.  The majority of applicants who are rejected are 
typically allowed to remain in the country for other 
humanitarian reasons, especially those from the former 
Yugoslavia.  Deportation of illegal immigrants has, however, 
became more common due to the new asylum law as well as an 
agreement signed with Romania in late 1992 arranging the return 
of Romanian asylum seekers, primarily Gypsies, whose 
applications had been turned down.

Section 3  Respect for Political Rights:  The Right of Citizens 
           to Change Their Government

Under the Basic Law, the Government is chosen by the people 
through orderly elections based on universal suffrage.  The 
lower house of Parliament, the Bundestag, which chooses the 
Chancellor, is elected through a mixture of direct constituency 
candidates and party lists.  The upper house, the Bundesrat, is 
composed of delegations from state governments.  New political 
parties are free to form and enter the political process, but 
the Basic Law and the state constitutions stipulate that 
parties must receive at least 5 percent of the national vote 
(or win at least three directly-elected seats in federal 
elections) in order to be represented in the federal and state 
parliaments.  Although party discipline plays an important 
role, voting on issues in the Bundestag is ultimately a matter 
of individual decision.

Women are entitled by law to full participation in political 
life, and all parties have expressed commitment to encourage 
their greater participation.  The Greens require that women 
comprise half of the party's elected officials.  The Social 
Democratic Party (SPD) requires that women comprise 40 percent 
of all party committees and governing bodies by the end of 
1994.  Presently, 37.7 percent of the SPD's Executive Committee 
members are women.  The party has mandated that 33.3 percent of 
SPD candidates running for office in the 1994 Bundestag 
elections be women.  The Hesse state government has passed laws 
requiring that 50 percent of all public sector job openings be 
filled by women.  Effective January 1994, the law applies to 
nearly 400,000 positions.  Within the German Government, the 
Federal Cabinet Minister for Women and Youth is responsible for 
furthering women's interests in both the public and private 
spheres.  Women comprise 21 percent of the current Bundestag 
membership, and its president is a woman.

Section 4  Governmental Attitude Regarding International and 
           Nongovernmental Investigation of Alleged Violations 
           of Human Rights

Private nongovernmental human rights organizations operated 
freely and without harassment in all of Germany, as did 
international organizations.

Section 5  Discrimination Based on Race, Sex, Religion, 
           Disability, Language, or Social Status

Denying access to shelter, employment, health care, and 
education on the basis of race, religion, disability, sex, 
ethnic background, political opinion, or citizenship is illegal.


Women generally enjoy full and equal protection under the law, 
including property and inheritance rights.  Young women 
experience difficulties in gaining access to training in some 
traditionally male fields, but recent court rulings and 
government pilot programs helped break down some of these 
attitudinal and institutional barriers.  Women's rights groups 
are active in combatting pay inequities, sexual harassment, and 
violence against women.

Salaries for women in the private sector tend to be lower than 
salaries for men in similar jobs.  The Government, through its 
Labor Ministry, acknowledged the existence of unequal, 
sex-differentiated pay scales in the private sector as a 
violation of the constitutional prohibition against 
discrimination on the basis of sex.  Several decisions by the 
National Labor Court in recent years were in favor of women who 
initiated litigation to redress pay inequities.

The issue of equal pay for equal work is addressed also in the 
private sector in collective bargaining between unions and 

In May the Federal Constitutional Court declared abortion to be 
unconstitutional, ruling that abortion violated the 
constitutionally guaranteed right to life.  The Court also 
declared, however, that first-trimester abortions would not be 
subject to prosecution, provided that the woman received 
counseling beforehand and a doctor performed the procedure.  
The Court also limited the types of abortions for which 
government assistance could be provided to cases of rape, 
danger to the life of the mother, or grave deformation of the 
fetus.  The ruling struck down a "compromise" abortion bill 
passed by the Parliament in 1992 in an attempt to reconcile the 
former GDR's liberal abortion laws with the strictly regulated 
abortion policies of the west.  The 1992 law, which permitted 
abortions during the first trimester after mandatory 
counseling, did not go into effect owing to a temporary 
injunction issued by the Constitutional Court at the request of 
the Christian Democrats and their Bavarian counterpart, the 
Christian Social Union.  Thus, the "divided" abortion law, 
whereby eastern German women had a legal right to abortion 
without restriction during the first trimester, and abortion in 
the western part of Germany was permitted only on medical 
grounds or in case of extreme economic difficulty, had remained 
in effect until the May 1993 court ruling.

The unemployment rate for women in the eastern states continued 
to be high relative to men, with women comprising nearly 65 
percent of all unemployed workers.  Prior to German 
unification, women in the then-GDR worked primarily in the 
health, social work, education, and retail sectors, as well as 
in light industry.  Firms in these sectors were among the first 
to go bankrupt or be dismantled in the transition from a 
command to a market economy.  As of August, women's 
unemployment in eastern Germany stood at 21.7 percent while the 
comparable figure for men was 11 percent.

Violence against women, including wife beating, is not condoned 
in law or in practice.  Interim statistics for reported 
incidents of rape for the first 6 months of 1993 showed an 
increase of about 100 cases over last year's figure of 2,406.  
The women's movement has urged public discussion of the problem 
and tougher penalties for crimes against women.  In recent 
years, the Federal Ministry for Women and Youth commissioned a 
number of studies to investigate such topics as violence 
against women and sexual harassment.  One study concluded that 
most women are unsure of their legal options in cases of sexual 
harrassment and often fail to come forward because of the taboo 
nature of the topic.  The study recommended that legal 
counseling for victims of sexual harassment should be widely 
publicized and more readily available.  The study also 
advocated special training programs for those working in public 
employment offices.


While there is no widespread abuse of human rights of children 
in Germany, the Government recognizes that violence against 
children is a problem.  The Ministry for Women and Youth, 
releasing its 1992 child abuse statistics in August 1993, cited 
16,442 reported incidents of sexual abuse and 1,732 reports of 
other physical abuse.  Government officials believe that the 
number of unreported cases may be 10 to 20 times higher.  
Approximately 75 percent of sexual abuse against children is 
committed by family members, one-third by the child's 
biological father.  Based on these figures, the Ministry for 
Women and Youth pledged to continue a public awareness campaign 
initiated in 1992 which seeks to sensitize people to the 
problem, above all by making them more familiar with its 
dimensions and symptoms, and by teaching them to recognize 
appeals for help.  According to the Ministry, counseling and 
assistance in the area of child abuse have been expanded in 
recent years, in part reflecting the emphasis (as set forth in 
the Child and Youth Protection Law) placed on prevention.

     National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

Incidents reflecting intolerance of foreign, religious, and 
ethnic minorities occurred in both western and eastern 
Germany.  Foreigners, particularly Romanians, Gypsies, Turks, 
Poles, and non-Europeans, continued to be harassed or attacked 
mainly by right-wing extremists during 1993.  Incidents of 
antiforeigner violence in the first 9 months of 1993 increased 
by 36 percent over 1992.  The 1.9 million people of Turkish 
origin in Germany comprise the largest ethnic minority.  They 
have been among the primary victims of right-wing violence and 
other acts directed against foreigners.

In May a 16-year-old boy firebombed the home of a Turkish 
family in Solingen, killing five of the inhabitants and 
wounding three.  Following the arson attack, thousands 
demonstrated to protest xenophobia and right-wing extremism.  
Chancellor Kohl expressed outrage and dismay over the murders, 
calling for severe handling of the perpetrator.  President von 
Weizsaecker was present at a memorial service in Cologne for 
the Solingen victims, although Chancellor Kohl did not attend.

Noncitizen residents of Germany are prohibited from holding 
most civil service jobs, which include teaching and police 
posts.  Their rights to own property are also limited and they 
are subject to restrictive quotas in universities.  Turkish 
organizations complain that such restrictions limit their 
members' economic opportunities and ability to integrate into 
German society.

Some people of Turkish origin in Germany felt that government 
institutions, especially the police, were unresponsive to their 
needs, though most admitted that city and regional "Foreigners' 
Commissioners" were concerned and helpful, if perhaps 
understaffed.  Some Turks also alleged that not enough was done 
to prevent recurrences of violence in Solingen or elsewhere.  
Many Turks think that they and other Muslims are discriminated 
against on religious as well as ethnic grounds.  Some also 
pointed out that after the attack at Solingen the press turned 
for comment, not to a spokesperson of from the Turkish 
community, but to a leader of the Jewish community.  Turks also 
complained about a perceived lack of high-level political 
commitment to foreigners.  They criticized Chancellor Kohl's 
refusal to take part in the Solingen memorial services, a 
refusal some saw as a politically motivated effort to cultivate 
the right wing.  President von Weizsaecker, on the other hand, 
was generally credited for his frankness and concern about the 
integration of foreigners.

The Solingen attack prompted a new wave of "copy-cat" violence, 
causing government authorities to review measures put into 
place after the Moelln incident.  These measures included 
personnel reinforcement in certain law enforcement bodies; 
banning of four neo-Nazi organizations (the Deutsche 
Alternative, the Deutscher Kameradschaftsbund, the Nationale 
Offensive, and the Nationalistische Front); increased 
electronic and open-source surveillance of other right-wing 
groups, augmented protection of asylum homes, and an outreach 
program to troubled youth.  On the federal level, no concrete 
changes have as yet been made as a result of the review.  
Individual local governments have, however, taken some 
additional action.  For example, the city of Solingen augmented 
police protection of homes belonging to foreigners and 
developed after-school programs for troubled youth.

In the eastern states, antiforeigner crimes attributable to 
right-wing extremists dropped below 1992 levels in incidence 
and severity, although on a per capita basis, antiforeigner 
violence was more prevalent in the east than in the west.  
There still were incidents of arson attacks against asylum 
homes and assaults against individual non-Germans.  Protracted 
mob sieges of asylum facilities, however, did not recur in 
1993.  On the other hand, the incidence of desecration of 
Jewish and Russian cemeteries, as well as vandalism at 
concentration camp memorials, rose (see below).

Although most acts of violence were, as in the past, committed 
independently by small groups with widely divergent ideologies, 
a new trend, evident in both eastern and western states, 
pointed toward greater coordination among small, previously 
more diffuse neo-Nazi groups.  In western Germany, right-wing 
attacks also were more often violent than in previous years, as 
extremists sought to imitate the 1992 Moelln firebombing.

In addition to condemning the violence, the Government 
recommended tougher anticrime legislation and law-enforcement 
measures as well as measures aimed at the societal roots of 
extremist violence and growing crime rates.  Although better 
trained, more experienced, and better versed in federal 
Germany's legal system than in previous years, eastern German 
police have not yet achieved western German standards of 
effectiveness and efficiency.  However, police in eastern 
Germany showed greater success in combatting right-wing 
violence in 1993, in part due to the efforts of special law 
enforcement task forces created in many states to target 
right-wing crimes.  Though there were no cases in 1993 of 
eastern police inaction in the face of mob violence against 
asylum homes (as occurred in 1992 in Rostock and 
Eisenhuettenstadt) the eastern police continued to face 
criticism for failing to prevent ongoing incidents of 
small-scale right-wing violence and illegal neo-Nazi public 

In one widely reported incident, for example, police in Buetzee 
in Brandenburg did nothing to halt an illegal demonstration of 
approximately 200 organized neo-Nazis from all over Germany, 
some dressed in outfits closely resembling uniforms of the 
Schutzstaffel (SS), Hitler's elite guard.  (It is illegal to 
wear SS uniforms in Germany.  The question of when a uniform 
closely enough resembles an SS uniform to be considered one is 
a matter of individual court interpretation, although a uniform 
which uses SS insignias or swastikas is clearly illegal.)  That 
same day, police in Prieros, in the same state, stood by as 
nearly 800 "skinheads" gathered at the deputy mayor's home 
yelling outlawed Nazi slogans.

In response to accusations of inaction and ineptitude, eastern 
law enforcement and Interior Ministry officials argued that 
legal prohibitions against surveillance and covert intelligence 
gathering, such as phone tapping, limited their ability to 
preempt extremist attacks.  Police also contended that they 
could not guard every asylum home and cemetery and that there 
was little they could do to stop small-scale "hit and run" 
attacks against asylum homes or individual non-Germans.  In the 
battle against extremist violence, governments in the eastern 
states increasingly called on the Federal Government to ban 
right-wing organizations they considered guilty of 
anticonstitutional activities.  State governments can legally 
outlaw only organizations active solely within their state, but 
if the activities of a right-wing group cross state lines, the 
Federal Government assumes jurisdiction.

In early November, in a verdict that aroused public criticism 
for perceived leniency, a judge in Dresden  sentenced three 
defendants found guilty of killing Mozambican laborer Jorge 
Gomodai.  Gomodai died from injuries sustained after being 
thrown from a tram by juvenile skinheads on March 31, 1991.  
One youth was sentenced to 2 1/2 years in prison, while the two 
others were given probation and fines.  Although the court was 
criticized in the press for the perceived leniency of these 
sentences, they were in fact higher than the prosecutor had 
sought in light of the fact that all three were juveniles at 
the time of the assault and no "intent to kill" could be 
proven.  The court decided on higher penalties than usual after 
hearing that the main defendant had beaten up a passer-by the 
night before the Mozambican was killed.

The two neo-Nazis charged with the firebombing in Moelln in 
November 1992--which killed three Turkish citizens--were found 
guilty and given maximum sentences on December 8, 1993.  One 
attacker received a life sentence, with parole possible after 
15 years, while the other, who was a minor at the time of the 
attack, got 10 years.  Many saw the verdict as a signal that 
courts will move vigorously against right-wing attacks.  The 
defense said that it would appeal to the Constitutional Court.

Extremists continued to target the Sinti and Roma Gypsy 
populations.  (In addition to asylum-seekers, there are 70,000 
Sinti and Roma resident in Germany).  Sinti and Roma leaders 
accused the Government of discriminatory behavior in failing to 
recognize Gypsies as a national minority.  Some human rights 
groups and journalists also argued that the November 1992 
German-Romanian agreement allowing for relatively simple 
deportation of unqualified Romanian asylum applicants (of whom 
60 percent are Gypsies) singled out Gypsies.

The Government of Brandenburg was accused of violating the 
constitutionally protected rights of the state's Slavic Sorb 
minority population because of its April decision to allow the 
eventual demolition and relocation of the small village of 
Horno in order to make way for brown coal mining.  Sorb 
activists accused the Government of ignoring a provision in the 
state constitution guaranteeing the protection and continuation 
of ethnic Sorb settlements.  The Government held that Horno was 
not a Sorb settlement (but rather a village of 360 residents in 
which some Sorbs lived) and that the policy affected the entire 
region, not only the Sorbs.

State governments in eastern Germany introduced several model 
social and educational programs designed to counteract the root 
causes of xenophobia and intolerance, in addition to their 
efforts to reinvigorate law enforcement measures to crack down 
on violent manifestations of extremism.  Thus far, however, 
financially strapped eastern governments have made available 
only limited funds for such projects.

     Religious Minorities

A total of 482 anti-Jewish incidents were recorded during the 
first 10 months of 1993, including 5 cases of assault.  Jewish 
monuments were vandalized and at least 45 Jewish cemeteries 
were desecrated.  There were several incidents of politically 
motivated vandalism of the memorial at the former  
Sachsenhausen Concentration Camp.  In September over two dozen 
gravestones were painted with anti-Semitic and Nazi graffiti in 
the Jewish cemetery in Wriezen.  Although the Government 
condemned such anti-Semitic attacks, Jewish leaders and others 
felt that the response was inadequate and criticized what they 
perceived to be the Government's slow reaction to xenophobic 
violence and insensitivity to the Jewish community.

     People with Disabilities

According to German law, anyone who is physically or mentally 
disabled is entitled to seek help in order to avert, eliminate, 
or improve the disability, prevent a deterioration of the 
condition, or alleviate its consequences and to secure a place 
in society, particularly in the workplace, according to his or 
her abilities.  Laws providing for the disabled are respected 
in practice.  The German social system provides for medical 
treatment and therapy for the disabled, as well as sickness, 
maintenance, and disability allowances equal to 80 percent of 
lost normal income.  The Government offers vocational training 
programs for the disabled as well as integration grants for 
employers who hire disabled individuals.  Severely disabled 
persons may be granted special benefits, including tax breaks, 
free public transport, special parking facilities, and 
exemption from radio and television license fees.

The Federal Government has provided guidelines for 
"barrier-free" construction of public buildings, recommending 
the installation of wheelchair ramps, automatic and extra-wide 
doorways, suitable restroom areas, and the like.  Federal 
authorities have also provided guidelines for city streets and 
sidewalks, suggesting that states mandate handicapped parking 
spaces in public lots, low curbs at crosswalks, and audio 
signals at crosswalk lights.  While it is up to the individual 
states to incorporate these guidelines into state building 
codes, handicapped-access facilities are standard throughout 

Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

The right of workers to associate freely, choose 
representatives, determine programs and policies to represent 
members' interests, and publicize views is recognized and 
freely exercised.  Thirty-nine percent of the total eligible 
labor force belongs to unions.  The German Trade Union 
Federation (DGB) represents 85 percent of organized workers in 
both eastern and western Germany and actively participates in 
various international and European trade union organizations.  
The unions are independent of government and the political 
parties, although most union leaders are politically active and 
some serve as Members of Parliament representing either the 
principal opposition party or the largest party in the 
governing coalition.  There is no restriction on the number of 
unions, and small parallel unions operate alongside the 
dominant DGB federation.

The right to strike is guaranteed by law, except for civil 
servants (including teachers) and personnel in sensitive 
positions, such as members of the armed forces, and in 1993 was 
most notably exercised by eastern German metal workers.  
International Labor Organization (ILO) bodies in 1993 remained 
critical of the Government's broad definition of "essential 
services" which prevents teachers from legally striking.  
Sanctions imposed on teachers who struck in Hesse in 1989 and 
the replacement of striking postal workers by civil servants in 
an earlier incident were the specific cases that provoked 
complaints to the ILO.  In the case of the postal workers, the 
Federal Labor Court in July 1993 agreed with the ILO, stating 
the Government may not require civil servants to do the work of 
those engaged in a legal strike.

     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

The right to organize and bargain collectively is guaranteed by 
the Basic Law and is widely practiced.  No government mechanism 
to promote voluntary worker-employer negotiations is required 
because of a well-developed system of autonomous contract 
negotiations, now extended to the eastern states.  There is a 
two-tiered bargaining system whereby basic wages and working 
conditions are established at the industry level and then 
adapted to the circumstances prevailing in particular 
enterprises through local negotiations.  In 1993 there 
continued to be reports that some firms in eastern Germany 
either refused to join or withdrew from employers' associations 
and then bargained independently with workers.  Some large 
firms in the west also withdrew at least a portion of their 
workers from the jurisdiction of the employers' associations, 
complaining of a lack of flexibility in the system of 
centralized negotiations.  A characteristic of German 
industrial relations is the legally mandated system of works 
councils that provides a permanent forum for continuing 
selective worker participation in the management of the 
enterprise.  Workers are fully protected against antiunion 
discrimination and can be reinstated if they can prove they 
were fired for union activity.

Germany has no export processing zones.

     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

Forced or compulsory labor is barred by the Basic Law and is 
nonexistent in practice.

     d.   Minimum Age for Employment of Children

Federal law generally prohibits the employment of children 
under age 15, with a few exceptions:  children aged 13 and 14 
may do farm work for up to 3 hours per day or may deliver 
newspapers for up to 2 hours per day; children aged 3 through 
14 may take part in cultural performances under stringent 
conditions with regard to number of hours, time of day, and 
form of activity.  The Federal Labor Ministry effectively 
enforces the law through its Factory Inspection Bureau.

     e.  Acceptable Conditions of Work

There is no legislated or administratively determined minimum 
wage rate.  Wages and salaries are set either by collective 
bargaining agreements between industrial unions and employer 
federations or by individual contract.  These agreements, which 
cover about 90 percent of all wage and salary earners, set 
minimum pay rates and are legally enforceable.  These minimum 
wage levels provide an adequate standard of living for workers 
and their families.  The number of hours of work per week is 
regulated by contracts which directly or indirectly affect 80 
percent of the working population.  The average workweek for 
industrial workers in the western part of Germany is 37.6 
hours, and in the eastern states, about 40 hours.

Germany has an extensive system of laws and regulations on 
occupational safety and health and incorporates a growing body 
of European Union-wide standards into its own legislation.  
This system includes the right to refuse to perform dangerous 
or unhealthy work without jeopardizing employment.  For each 
occupation, there is a comprehensive system of worker insurance 
carriers that enforce requirements for safety in the 
workplace.  This system has been extended into the eastern 
states, where lax occupational health and safety standards and 
conditions under the Communist regime created serious long-term 
problems.  The Federal Labor Ministry and its counterparts in 
the states effectively enforce occupational safety and health 
standards through a comprehensive network of government 
structures, including the Federal Institute for Work Safety.  
At the local level, professional and trade associations--self- 
governing public law corporations with delegates from the 
employers and from the unions--oversee the prevention of 
workplace accidents as well as worker safety.

[end of document]


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