Die Europäische Kommission hatte vom 30.9.-1.10.2004 zu einer Konferenz
nach Riga eingeladen. Das Motto hieß: „Vielfalt statt Diskriminierung”.
Aus allen EU-Staaten waren VertreterInnen von Organisationen eingeladen worden, die
ihr Augenmerk auf die Diskriminierungen werfen, denen viele
BürgerInnen in den EU-Staaten ausgesetzt sind.
Aus der Bundesrepublik reisten VertreterInnen von fünf Organisationen nach Lettland.
1. ARIC - Antirassismus Informations-Centrum
2. BDA - Bund deutscher Arbeitgeber
3. LSVD - Lesben- und Schwulenverband in Deutschland
4. Sozialverband VDK Deutschland
5. Baldis - Büro gegen Altersdiskriminierung
Jedes Land und jede Organisation hatte im Vorfeld der Konferenz die Möglichkeit
erhalten, Projekte einzureichen, die als positive Beispiele bei der Bewußtmachung
und Ächtung von Diskriminierungen in Lettland vorgestellt werden
Für die Bundesrepublik Deutschland wurde unsere Webseite www.altersdiskriminierung.de ausgesucht. Anna Puff vom Büro gegen Altersdiskriminierung präsentierte und erläuterte sie.
Zienetas damaas un guadate coonge! (Begrüßung in lettischer Sprache/ pers önl. Lautschrift)
Dear European Friends, ladies and gentlemen,
My name is Anna Puff, and I’m from the Office against age-discrimination in Cologne, Germany. As I would like to introduce you to our website, I think it is necessary to tell you something about the history of our society.
In the year 2001 we organized the first National Complaint day against agediscrimination in Germany. We evaluated 1.600 different complaints and found out, who, where and when is discriminated against because of his or her age. We found 10 different areas and out of that we created a website to highlight these aspects of agediscrimination as well as the actual political and juridical situation according to an antidiscrimination law.
The German law until today has no articles that prohibit agediscrimination. So he or she, who is discriminated against has no legal rights to protest and protect her- or himself.
To fight this grievance and to give the disease a face, the aims of the website is to:
The website is completely done by volontary work. So there is no time,
room or money for a lot of organisation, which should be done.
Involved are: a webmaster, two women-editors. One is a professional journalist, the other is a socialworker.
Now we come to the contents of the website:
We mention dates of interesting conferences, training courses, protest marches and what is very important: We have a button to send a complaint about agediscrimination
So we come now to the fields, where agediscrimination is happening. I’d like to give you minimum one example with every point:
Agediscrimination in work and related issues:
It is a collection of relevant political decisions, labourmarket and personal experiences:
For example the virtual labourmarket of the Agency for labour in Germany claimes to give the age in their application forms. Without that it is not possible, to publish the applications. With that the Agency for labour offend against the general direction 78, which is given by the European Union. This prohibits clearly the discrimination because of the age in the fields of work and labour. But very often one can also find in the position offered by this federal authority the limitation ‘up to 40’.
Federal authorities and offices have to realize the general direction of the European Union even if the government has not already realized it.
Agediscrimination in volunteer work:
Here I would like to tell you one example from the Evangelic telphone-guidance-service in Frankfurt: They were looking for volunteer workers in the age of 25 to 60 years. One worker of the psycholical advisory board sees the reason of this agelimitation in the fixed approach to life in people, who are more than 60 years old. She says, that even 30 years old non-flexible persons were refused in getting the volunteer job. Remarkable is, that the younger people, who were called non-flexible, were seen as single cases, but all of the people more than 60 years old were refused.
Agediscrimination in finance related issues:
Mr. L. was writing to us: I’m a 64years old pensioner and I get two pensions. Monthley I have an income of 3.300 Euro net. Two applications for a credit were refused by the American Express Bank and the Diba-Bank because of my age.
The International Financial agreement Basel 2 is still not realized, but the german banks already make use of it: That means, that people, who ask for a credit have to be proofed in a strict rating. One of the criterion of this rating is the age.
Agediscrimination in health and health insurances:
I like to give you one example, which is quite incredible:
In Hamburg, Schleswig-Holstein and Niedersachsen the inhabitants living within a radius of 10 km next to nuclear power stations are getting iodine tablets for protection against a nuclear accident. But is international standard, that this tablets are just given for the people, who are younger than 45 years!
Agediscrimination in image:
A member of us protested with an open letter to the author Mr. Bernd Kloeckner, who wrote in his book ‘the greedy generation’: “The old are a greedy generation. The old are taking from the younger. (…) Old people would be useful to our society, when they die.”
Agediscrimination in the law:
Our present government is strictly against the civil law against agediscrimination. (We got this information from Mr. Volker Beck, who is member of the coalition-party in the government).
For example stopped this government the protection against unlawful dismissal for people, who are more than 50 years old.
We ask, how this government want to realize the anti-discrimination-law, if they themselves enact laws, which are discriminating.
Agediscrimination in public areas:
Here we just have to think about problems of elder people to climb up the footboards of our trams or have to take the risky challenge of quick changing traffic lights.
Agediscrimination in care taking related issues:
Psychic sick old people rarley get the optimal treatment and nursing care in homes for the aged or nursing homes. Very often their illness is not well diagnosed (This is the result of a research of the Kuratorium Deutsche Altershilfe).
Agediscrimination in pension related issues:
Under this point one can find a lot of informations about the actual pension law and ongoing reforms, statistics and prospectives about our future living standard, which is not really optimistic.
Agediscrimination in other issues:
Just to give you one short example: The Cologne Company Netcologne give contracts about the connection to the internet just to people, who are born later than 1935. Our government not long ago started an extensive and expensive programm to make the internet more interesting for elder people. How this get together?
We find it urgent necessary, that age has to be considered in the planed law against discrimination!!!
We also show letters to or from the government or high ranked partymembers and also progress or recession regarding national or international laws and cases.
The website-people see their work as a political one. If society is not as you like it, try to do something to change it. As citizens, who can think, act and make decisions, we decided three years ago to create the website. By now it is the only archive in german language about agediscrimination on the agenda.
Are the absence of time, money and the shortage of personnel, which also includes slow computers, backpain and too much work
How are news created:
News are not created. News are collected from the people, who send us their examples on agediscrimination
- news are edited and go online
We are planing a new creation of the webdesign, so also handicapped visitors can use it without any problems. We also want to extend the sides in other languages and last but not least, we will try to find sponsors
So I’m nearly at the end of my presentation and I would like to give you three learning points out of our experiences:
1. Listen to the people
2. Watch the politicians
3. Try to be better informed than anyone else
Thank you very much for your attention!