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TITLE:  GERMANY HUMAN RIGHTS PRACTICES, 1994
AUTHOR:  U.S. DEPARTMENT OF STATE
DATE:  FEBRUARY 1995









                            GERMANY


The Federal Republic of Germany is a constitutional, 
parliamentary democracy.  The head of the Federal Government, 
the Chancellor, is elected by the lower house of Parliament.  
The powers of the Chancellor and of the Parliament are set 
forth in the Basic Law (Germany's Constitution).  The 16 states 
enjoy significant autonomy, especially as concerns law 
enforcement and the courts, education, the environment, and 
social assistance.

Law enforcement is primarily a responsibility of state 
governments, and the police are organized at the state level.  
The jurisdiction of the Federal Criminal Office is limited to 
international organized crime, especially narcotics 
trafficking, weapons smuggling, and currency counterfeiting.  
Police forces are well trained, disciplined, and mindful of 
citizens' rights.  However, there were isolated instances of 
police abuse of prisoners, particularly foreigners, in several 
cities, including Berlin, Hamburg, and Leipzig.

Germany's highly advanced economy affords its residents a high 
standard of living.  During 1994 the economic situation in 
eastern Germany improved significantly as adjustment to the 
market economy quickened.   While there continued to be 
substantial numbers of workers in the east who were unemployed, 
underemployed, temporarily employed or in training programs, or 
retiring early, each of these categories decreased.  
Unemployment in the east continued to affect women 
disproportionately more than men.  Unemployment in the west 
eased notably during the latter half of the year.

The Basic Law provides extensively for the free exercise of 
individual rights, and various laws provide recourse against 
racial and ethnic intolerance.  The Government enforces these 
provisions.  However, violence or harassment directed at 
foreigners continued to occur.  Official data show that the 
number of violent offenses by rightwing extremists decreased by 
over one-third in the first 11 months of 1994 compared with the 
same period in 1993.  Rightwing extremist violence, having 
risen sharply in 1991 after German unification, peaked in 1992 
and has since been declining.  Still, attacks on property or 
persons numbered about five times higher in 1994 than in 1989, 
and foreigners were the victims somewhat more often than not.

Anti-Semitic incidents increased but remained low in absolute 
number.  Most involved graffiti or distribution of anti-Semitic 
materials.  Especially notorious was a firebombing which 
significantly damaged the Luebeck Synagogue; this was the first 
attack on a synagogue in Germany since the end of World War II.

The overwhelming majority of the perpetrators of attacks on 
foreigners or anti-Semitic acts were frustrated, apolitical 
youths and a small core of neo-Nazis.  All the major political 
parties and all the highest officials of the Federal Republic 
denounced violence against foreigners and anti-Semitic acts, as 
did hundreds of thousands of citizens in public demonstrations.

RESPECT FOR HUMAN RIGHTS

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

     a.  Political and Other Extrajudicial Killing

There were no reports of political or extrajudicial killing by 
agents of the Government.  Police claimed that their shooting 
and killing of a 16-year-old Kurd in Hannover, in the course of 
arresting him for putting up posters of the banned Kurdish 
Workers Party, was accidental; but the family's lawyer insisted 
the police were negligent.  Some murders occurred among rival 
factions of Iranians, Kurds, Turks, and other foreign 
nationals; the federal and state authorities sought to find and 
prosecute the perpetrators of such crimes, and pressed charges 
in several trials.

     b.  Disappearance

There were no reports of abductions or secret arrests by 
governmental or police authorities.

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

Police in Hamburg, Leipzig, Berlin, and several smaller cities 
were accused of mistreating foreigners.  In Hamburg, the state 
Interior Minister resigned, and 27 policemen were under 
suspension pending further investigation of such charges.  
During 1994 as many as 51 Berlin police were suspended; and 
courts sentenced one policeman to a 3-year prison term, fined 
another, and placed two on probation, for mistreating a 
Vietnamese asylum-seeker.  Some foreign residents charged that 
Berlin authorities are reluctant to investigate fully such 
charges of abuse.

Generally, however, authorities throughout Germany responded 
swiftly to accusations of police brutality, and punished 
officers found guilty of it.  Berlin's Chief of Police 
complained publicly about the overcrowding and other poor 
conditions under which rejected asylum-seekers are being held 
in detention awaiting deportation (see Section 2.d.).

     d.  Arbitrary Arrest, Detention, or Exile

To make an arrest, police must obtain a judicial warrant.  By 
the day after arrest, police must bring the suspect before a 
judge and lodge a charge.  The court must then either issue a 
warrant stating the grounds for detention or order release.

There is no preventive detention.  If there is evidence that 
the suspect might flee the country, police may detain the 
suspect for up to 24 hours pending a formal charge   The right 
of free access to legal counsel has been restricted only in the 
cases of terrorists suspected of having used contacts with 
lawyers to continue terrorist activity while in prison.  Only 
judges may decide on the validity of any deprivation of 
liberty.  Bail exists but is seldom employed; the usual 
practice is to release detainees unless there is clear danger 
of flight outside the country.  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 government 
interference.  There are no political prisoners.

In the trial of a neo-Nazi leader charged with inciting 
violence because of his denial of the Holocaust, the court's 
decision provoked widespread criticism for its apparent 
sympathy for the accused's ideology.  In explaining why it 
handed down only a suspended sentence, the court extolled the 
accused's integrity and showed understanding for his 
motivations.  The presiding judge was temporarily removed from 
his seat "for continuous health problems."

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

The Basic Law provides for inviolability of the home, and the 
authorities respect these provisions.  Prior to forcibly 
entering a home, police must obtain a warrant from a judge or, 
in an emergency, a public prosecutor.  For electronic 
surveillance of telephone lines or monitoring of mail, police 
must obtain a court order.

Section 2  Respect for Civil Liberties, Including:

     a.  Freedom of Speech and Press

The Basic Law, an independent press, an effective judiciary, 
and a functioning democratic political system combine to ensure 
freedom of speech and the press.  There is no official 
censorship.  However, Nazi propaganda and that of other 
proscribed organizations are illegal.  Statements endorsing 
Nazism are also illegal.

Newspapers and magazines are privately owned, with some 
companies controlling a significant part of the market.  The 
major radio and television networks and stations function as 
corporations under special public laws; they are governed by 
independent boards made up of representatives of churches, 
political parties, and other organizations.  Alongside this 
system, commercial television and radio have become 
increasingly important since the late 1980's.  The former East 
German broadcasting outlets have been integrated into an 
all-German system.

     b.  Freedom of Peaceful Assembly and Association

The law provides for free exercise of the rights of assembly 
and association, and the authorities respect these provisions.  
Organizers of demonstrations must first obtain police permits, 
and may be asked to pay a deposit to cover repair of any damage 
to public facilities.  Permits are routinely granted.  When 
demonstrators have not obtained permits, police have exercised 
restraint, showing concern primarily for the functioning of 
public facilities and for public safety.

The Basic Law permits banning political parties found to be 
"fundamentally antidemocratic."  A 1950's ruling by the Federal 
Constitutional Court outlawed a neo-Nazi and a Communist 
party.  State governments may outlaw only organizations that 
are active solely within their state.  If a group's activities 
cross state lines, the Federal Government assumes jurisdiction.

Four far-right political groups, not organized as political 
parties, were banned in late 1992.  The Kurdish Workers Party 
(PKK), along with 35 subsidiary organizations, was banned in 
1993.  Also in 1993, the Federal Government asked the 
Constitutional Court to ban the far-right Free German Workers' 
Party; the Court's decision is still pending.  Several 
extremist parties are currently under observation by the Office 
for the Protection of the Constitution (BFV, the internal 
security service), although such monitoring may not by law 
interfere with the organizations' continued activities.  The 
BFV reported that 42,000 people belonged to far-right 
organizations in 1994, of whom some 5,600 were considered 
violence-prone.

     c.  Freedom of Religion

The Government fully supports religious freedom.  Most of the 
population belongs to the Catholic or Protestant Churches.  
These denominations and the small Jewish community 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 Government 
subsidizes church-affiliated schools and provides religious 
instruction in schools and universities for those belonging to 
the Protestant, Catholic, or Jewish faith.

Members of the Church of Scientology continue to complain of 
harassment such as being fired from a job or expelled from (or 
not permitted to join) a political party.  Scientologists 
continued to take such grievances to court.  Musician Chick 
Corea, a Scientologist, was permitted to appear in a 
government-subsidized concert hall in the state of Hesse only 
after an agreement with local officials that he would not 
proselytize during his performance.

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

German citizens are free to move anywhere within the country, 
to travel abroad, to emigrate, and to repatriate, without 
restrictions that violate human rights.

For ethnic Germans entering the country, the Basic Law provides 
both for citizenship immediately upon application and for legal 
residence without restrictions.  Persons not of German 
ethnicity may acquire citizenship (and with it the right of 
unrestricted residence) if they meet certain requirements, 
including legal residence in Germany for at least 10 years (5 
if married to a German), renunciation of all other 
citizenships, and a basic command of the German language.  
Long-term legal residents often opt not to apply; they receive 
the same social benefits as do citizens, and after 10 years of 
legal residency they are entitled to permanent residency.  
Representatives of the Turkish and Roma communities in Germany 
have criticized the citizenship policy as unjust and 
discriminatory, and have opposed in particular Germany's policy 
against dual nationality.

The Basic Law provides for the right of foreign victims of 
political persecution to attain asylum in Germany.  However, 
since an amendment of the asylum law took effect July 1, 1993, 
tightening the criteria for granting asylum, applications have 
dropped sharply.  Indications are that applications in 1994 
were fewer than in any year since 1989.

Under the tightened criteria, persons coming directly from any 
country that German officials designate as a "safe country of 
origin" cannot normally claim political asylum, but can request 
an administrative review of their applications while in 
Germany.  Persons entering Germany via a "safe third 
country"--any country in the European Union or adhering to the 
Geneva Convention--are also ineligible for asylum.

The legislated changes also limited legal recourse against 
denials of asylum applications.  Critics argued that few 
countries can assuredly be designated as "safe third countries" 
and that the law unjustly fails to allow applicants to rebut 
such designations.  While the law permits appeals against 
designations of "safe countries of origin," critics protested 
that the 48-hour period allotted for hearings is too brief.

Asylum-seekers with applications under review enjoy virtually 
the full range of civil rights except the right to vote.  While 
less than 5 percent of applicants have attained political 
asylum, denial does not automatically result in deportation; 
most rejected applicants are allowed to remain in the country 
for humanitarian reasons, especially those from the former 
Yugoslavia.

However, applicants who have been conclusively denied asylum 
are placed in detention pending deportation; and some police 
lockups, particularly in Berlin, are overcrowded and/or 
otherwise seriously substandard.  Seven asylum-seekers in the 
capital were held for several months in cells intended only for 
very brief detentions.  To improve conditions for detainees, 
Berlin authorities began to use nonprison facilities vacated by 
departing U.S. military units, and proceeded with construction 
of a new detention center scheduled for completion in 1995.

Deportation became rather more common, however, due not only to 
the amended asylum criteria but also to an agreement with 
Romania in late 1992 on the return of rejected Romanian 
asylum-seekers, primarily Roma.  Under the agreement, Germany 
pays all transportation costs and provides financial assistance 
to Romania to help reintegrate those returning.

Vietnamese asylum-seekers pose a special problem.  Since the 
1993 amendments of the asylum criteria, only 2 percent of 
Vietnamese applicants have been granted asylum; but the 
Government has been unable to repatriate the rejected 
Vietnamese, because Vietnam requires its returning citizens to 
hold re-entry visas but has refused to issue such visas to 
those in Germany.

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

Under the Basic Law, the Government is elected on the basis of 
universal suffrage and secret balloting.  Members of the 
Parliament's lower house, the Bundestag, are elected from a 
mixture of direct-constituency and party-list candidates.  The 
upper house, the Bundesrat, is composed of delegations from 
state governments.  The Basic Law and the state constitutions 
stipulate that parties must receive at least 5 percent of the 
vote (or 3 directly elected seats in federal elections) in 
order to be represented in the federal or state parliaments.

The law entitles women to participate fully in political life, 
and a growing number are prominent in the Government and the 
parties, but women are still substantially underrepresented in 
those ranks.  Slightly over 26 percent of the Federal 
Parliament is female, including its President.  Women occupy 3 
of 16 cabinet positions.  One state minister president is a 
woman.  On the Federal Constitutional Court, 4 of the 16 judges 
are women, including the Chief Justice.  All of the parties 
have undertaken to enlist more women.  The Greens require that 
women comprise half of the party's elected officials.  The 
Social Democrats have a 40-percent quota for women on all party 
committees and governing bodies.

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

Private nongovernmental human rights organizations operate 
freely in all of Germany, as do international organizations.

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

The law prohibits denial of access to shelter, health care, or 
education on the basis of race, religion, disability, sex, 
ethnic background, political opinion, or citizenship.

     Women

The law generally treats women's rights as equal to men's, 
including property and inheritance rights.  Women are beset by 
institutional and attitudinal barriers in some traditionally 
male fields, but recent court rulings and government programs 
have helped break down some of the barriers.  On September 1 
the "Second Law on the Implementation of Equal Rights for Women 
and Men" took force, mandating that government agencies 
establish promotion plans for women, appoint officials for 
women's issues, and take various other such measures; it also 
provides more stringent sanctions against sexual harassment in 
the workplace.

Salaries for women in the private sector tend to be lower than 
for men in similar jobs.  The Labor Ministry has acknowledged 
that unequal, sex-differentiated pay scales in the private 
sector violate the Basic Law's ban on gender-based 
discrimination.  Several decisions by the National Labor Court 
in recent years have been in favor of women who initiated 
litigation to redress pay inequities.  Such inequities are also 
thrashed out in collective bargaining between unions and firms.

In 1994 the unemployment rate for women in the eastern states 
continued to climb faster than the rate for men.  In that 
region women now comprise over two-thirds of all unemployed 
workers, and as of midyear (latest data) the rate of 
unemployment in the female work force was over 21 percent while 
the figure was 10 percent for the male work force.

In 1993 the Federal Constitutional Court declared that abortion 
violates the Basic Law's provision regarding right to life.  
The Court ruled that first-trimester abortions would not be 
prosecutable, provided that the women received counseling 
beforehand and that doctors performed the abortion.  It also 
ruled that the Government could provide assistance for abortion 
only in cases of rape, mortal danger to the mother, or grave 
deformation of the fetus.  The ruling struck down 1992 
legislation which attempted to reconcile the former East 
Germany's liberal abortion laws with the Federal Government's 
strict policies.  In 1994 the parties in the Parliament were 
unable to agree on an amended law.

Neither the law nor the authorities condone wife beating or 
other violence against women.  In recent years the Federal 
Ministry for Women and Youth commissioned a number of studies 
to gain information on violence against women, sexual 
harassment, and other matters.  Police statistics on rape 
showed a slight decrease to 5,527 cases in 1993 (latest data) 
from 5,568 in the previous year.

     Children

There is no culturally based pattern of abuse of human rights 
of children in Germany.  The Government nevertheless recognizes 
that violence against children is a problem requiring its 
attention.  The Ministry for Women and Youth released data in
August 1993 (latest available) citing 16,442 reported incidents 
of sexual abuse and 1,732 reports of other physical abuse of 
children in the previous year.  Officials believe that the 
numbers of unreported cases may be 10 to 20 times higher.  They 
estimate that in about three-fourths of the cases of sexual 
abuse against children, the perpetrator is a family member--in 
one-third, the child's biological father.

In light of these figures, the Ministry for Women and Youth 
pledged to continue a campaign initiated in 1992 to foster 
public awareness of the scale of the problem and of its 
symptoms.  The Child and Youth Protection Law stresses the need 
for preventive measures, and the Ministry has taken account of 
this in stepping up its counseling and other assistance.

The German Criminal Code was amended in 1993 to further protect 
children against pornography and sexual abuse.  For possession 
of child pornography, the maximum sentence is 1 year's 
imprisonment; for distribution, 5 years.  The amendment made 
sexual abuse of children by German citizens abroad punishable 
even if the action is not illegal in the child's own country.

     National/Racial/Ethnic Minorities

Police data show the number of violent offenses by rightwing 
extremists decreased by almost one-third in the first half of 
1994 compared with the same period in 1993, continuing a 
downtrend since 1992.  As in previous years, most of these 
offenses (over 56 percent) were directed against foreign 
residents, but since 1993 there has been a sharper decline in 
xenophobic offenses (such as beatings of foreigners or arson 
attacks on asylum homes) than in other kinds of manifestations 
of rightwing extremist violence; the number decreased by 29 
percent in 1993 and by 53 percent in the first half of 1994 
compared with the first half of 1993.

Since late 1993 officials and courts have generally dealt with 
extremist crimes more vigorously than previously.  In December 
1993 a court convicted two arsonists for a fatal attack in 
Moelln and gave them the maximum sentences--life imprisonment 
for one, and 10 years for his juvenile accomplice.

After the most notorious incident in 1994, a rampage on May 12 
in Magdeburg in which at least fifty youths chased five 
Africans through downtown streets and beat them while 
bystanders did little or nothing, the perpetrators were 
arrested, tried, and sentenced to even longer prison terms than 
the prosecution had requested.  Also in Magdeburg, a court gave 
four youths 9- to 24-month jail terms for 1991 attacks on 
foreigners and political activists.

A court sentenced two participants in the 1993 attack on U.S. 
athletes in Oberhof to jail terms of 32 and 12 months, 
respectively, without parole; for four others it ordered 
probation or community service.

Three of the four suspects in a Berlin assault on a Ghanaian 
national, who was stabbed and thrown from a moving streetcar, 
were released; although the remaining detainee retracted a 
confession, he remains jailed.

In another case, three young men accused of assaulting a 
Ghanaian in a street car in Halle in March were given jail 
terms of 2 to 4 years.

In Potsdam, in a case of abuse of an Angolan worker and denial 
of his liberty, a court sentenced two of the three defendants 
to 4 and 2 years, respectively, the latter with added community 
service; the third, who was the apparent instigator of the 
offense, hanged himself in jail.

At year's end, authorities were still investigating the 
firebombings of two private Turkish organizations in 
Baden-Wuerttemberg.  Also continuing was the court trial of the 
alleged perpetrators of a fatal 1993 arson attack in Solingen.

Perpetrators of rightwing violence were predominantly young, 
male, and low in socioeconomic status, often committing such 
acts while inebriated.  As in the past, most acts of violence 
against minority groups were committed spontaneously.  Also as 
in the past, there was evidence that neo-Nazi groups were 
making efforts for greater coordination among themselves.

In addition to voicing condemnation of 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 other crime.  In the 
eastern states, governments introduced several model social and 
educational programs designed to counteract the root causes of 
xenophobia and intolerance, and they undertook efforts to 
reinvigorate enforcement of laws against violence by 
extremists.  For such projects, however, state governments have 
thus far allocated only limited funds in their tight budgets.

Although police in the eastern states continued to become  
better versed in the federal legal system, better trained, and 
more experienced, by year's end they had not yet achieved the 
standards of effectiveness characteristic of the police in the 
rest of Germany.  However, they did score greater success in 
combating rightwing violence, in part due to special task 
forces created in many states.  For example, after neo-Nazis in 
more than 30 cities were denied permission to hold gatherings 
to commemorate the death of Rudolf Hess, there was concern that 
some neo-Nazi groups might nevertheless stage such rallies, as 
one had succeeded in doing in Fulda in 1993; but state and 
federal authorities cooperated closely, deployed police in 
force, and succeeded in completely preventing demonstrations.

Sinti and Roma leaders accused the Government of discriminatory 
behavior in failing to designate Sinti and Roma as a national 
minority (similar to the status accorded ethnic Danes and 
Sorbs) and of a generally hostile attitude toward them.

     Religious Minorities

Anti-Semitic acts increased, with 937 incidents reported in the 
first 9 months of 1994.  The worst was the firebombing of the 
100-year-old synagogue in Luebeck on March 25.  Police 
investigation led to quick arrest of the alleged perpetrators, 
who at year's end were awaiting trial.

Over 90 percent of anti-Semitic incidents involved graffiti, 
the distribution of anti-Semitic materials or the display of 
symbols of banned organizations.  There were three cases of 
bodily injury and 42 cases of monument desecration.  In July, 
for example, 22 skinheads vandalized the former concentration 
camp at Buchenwald, but police were able to apprehend all the 
perpetrators before they left the scene.  A federal court 
ordered retrial of two youths who had been acquitted in October 
1993 of a charge of arson in the September 1992 burning of the 
Jewish barracks at the former Sachsenhausen concentration 
camp.  There were further incidents of vandalism at the 
Sachsenhausen site in 1994.

     People with Disabilities

By law, anyone who is physically or mentally disabled is 
entitled to assistance to avert, eliminate, or improve the 
disability, prevent a deterioration of it, or alleviate its 
consequences and secure a place in society (particularly in the 
workplace) according to his or her abilities.  The authorities 
respect the rights of the disabled.  The social system provides 
medical and financial benefits for persons who are or become 
disabled.  The Government offers them vocational training, and 
it offers grants for employers who hire the handicapped.  
Severely disabled persons may be granted special benefits, such 
as tax breaks, free public transport, special parking 
facilities, and exemption from radio and television fees.

The Federal Government has established guidelines for 
attainment of "barrier-free" public buildings, and for 
modifications of streets and pedestrian traffic walks to 
accommodate disabled persons.  While it is up to the individual 
states to incorporate these guidelines into building codes, all 
16 states now have access facilities for the handicapped.

(###)
Section 6  Worker Rights

     a.  The Right of Association

The right to associate freely, choose representatives, 
determine programs and policies to represent workers' 
interests, and publicize views is recognized and freely 
exercised.  Some 39 percent of the total eligible labor force 
belongs to unions.  The German Trade Union Federation (DGB) 
represents 85 percent of organized workers, and participates in 
various international and European trade union organizations.

The law provides for the right to strike, except for civil 
servants (including teachers) and personnel in sensitive 
positions such as members of the armed forces.  In the past the 
International Labor Organization (ILO) has criticized the 
Government's definition of "essential services" as overly 
broad.  The ILO was responding to complaints about sanctions 
imposed on teachers who struck in the state of Hesse in 1989 
and, earlier, the replacement of striking postal workers by 
civil servants.  A combination of privatization and decisions 
by the Federal Labor Court may resolve at least some of the 
specific issues in a manner acceptable to the ILO.

     b.  The Right to Organize and Bargain Collectively

The Basic Law provides for the right to organize and bargain 
collectively, and this right is widely exercised.  Due to a 
well-developed system of autonomous contract negotiations, 
resort to mediators is uncommon.  Basic wages and working 
conditions are negotiated at the industry level and then are 
adapted, through local collective bargaining, to particular 
enterprises.

In 1994 some firms in eastern Germany refused to join employer 
associations, or withdrew from them, and then bargained 
independently with workers.  Likewise, some large firms in the 
west withdrew at least part of their work force from the 
jurisdiction of employer associations, complaining of 
rigidities in the centralized negotiating system.  The law 
mandates a system of works councils and worker membership on 
supervisory boards, and thus workers participate in the 
management of the enterprises in which they work.  The law 
thoroughly protects workers against antiunion discrimination.

Germany has no export processing zones.


     c.  Prohibition of Forced or Compulsory Labor

The Basic Law prohibits forced or compulsory labor, and there 
were no known violations.

     d.  Minimum Age for Employment of Children

Federal law generally prohibits employment of children under 
age 15, with a few exceptions:  those aged 13 or 14 may do farm 
work for up to 3 hours per day, or may deliver newspapers for 
up to 2 hours per day; those aged 3 to 14 may take part in 
cultural performances, albeit under stringent curbs on the 
kinds of activity, number of hours, and time of day.  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.  Wages and salaries are set either by collective 
bargaining agreements between industrial unions and employer 
federations or by individual contracts.  Covering about 90 
percent of all wage- and salary-earners, these agreements set 
minimum pay rates and are legally enforceable.  These minimums 
provide an adequate standard of living for workers and their 
families.  The number of hours of work per week is regulated by 
contracts that directly or indirectly affect 80 percent of the 
working population.  The average workweek for industrial 
workers is 36.9 hours in western Germany and about 40 hours in 
the eastern states.

An extensive set of laws and regulations on occupational safety 
and health incorporates a growing body of European Union 
standards.  These provide for the right to refuse to perform 
dangerous or unhealthy work without jeopardizing employment.  A 
comprehensive system of worker-insurance carriers enforces 
safety requirements in the workplace.  This system now applies 
in the eastern states, where lax standards and conditions under 
the Communist regime created serious problems.  The Labor 
Ministry and its counterparts in the states effectively enforce 
occupational safety and health standards through a network of 
government organs, including the Federal Institute for Work 
Safety.  At the local level, professional and trade 
associations--self-governing public corporations with delegates 
both from the employers and from the unions--oversee worker 
safety.


[end of document]

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