Communication Strategies and Practices

Germany: Survey about Discrimination


Action Timeframe

01.09.2015 – 30.11.2015

Geographic Area


Languages Used

German, English, French, Polish, Russian, Spanish, Turkish (languages available for the survey)

Campaign Co-organisers

Berlin Institute for Empirical Research in Integration and Migration (BIM)


The aim of the survey is to disclose discriminating behavior in Germany. The Federal Anti-Discrimination Agency (FADA) would like to know, based on which discrimination grounds and in which areas persons are experiencing discrimination. Furthermore the survey asks how people are affected by discrimination and how they cope with it. The results of this survey will provide FADA with quantitative and qualitative data regarding discrimination in Germany. Over 16.000 persons participated in the online and paper version of the survey.

First results are expected in March 2016. The full analysis of the data will be published in 2017.

Based on the results of the survey, FADA will draw up recommendations to prevent future discrimination.

Background: Systematic data on discrimination concerning all discrimination grounds are missing in Germany. The FADA is therefore working on establishing a Discrimination Barometer. The survey is the first step towards establishing such a Barometer. Central results of the survey will be published in the next report of FADA to the German Bundestag (2017).

The communications work around this Project aimed to raise awareness about the Survey and get as many poeple to participate as possible, preferably from diverse Backgrounds.

Social context

The results are supposed to provide relevant data about discrimination in Germany. Based on the survey’s results, FADA and other federal agencies will be able to take important further steps in order to both prevent and fight discrimination in Germany. One of the steps will include voicing recommendations to the German Parlament.

Target audience

All German residents aged 14 years or older.

Technical Requirements

It was possible to take part in the survey online. Here participants could choose different foreign languages and easy language for people with learning difficulties. Paper questionnaires were also provided and disseminated via NGOs and other civil society actors. Furthermore, NGOs were contracted to integrate groups that are hard to reach (e.g. older people, refugees, and persons with disabilities).

Sources of funding

The survey and data analysis is financed by FADA. Overall costs amount to around 250.000 Euro. FADA spent so far around 60 working days on the survey (December 2015. Work still ongoing).

Dissemination Channels

The FADA started a social media campaign to inform about the survey by creating videos. These videos showed a known personality talking about their experience of discrimination. While telling their story, they have their eyes closed. The video finishes when they open their eyes and say “I have experienced discrimination. And you?” Then there is the call to tell your own experience of being discriminated against and to take part in the survey. The persons who took part in the videos were: Karoline Herfurth (actress), Kübra Gümüsay (journalist), Marius Broening (athlete), Raul Krauthausen (activist) and Wolfgang Appenzeller (police officer).

The videos were watched altogether more than 300.000 times by November 2015. They were promoted via Facebook ads, trying to reach certain focus groups such as LGBTI, religious minorities etc.

Many partner organizations of FADA placed a banner of the survey on their website or advertised on Facebook by sharing the link to the survey.

There were flyers, postcards and posters distributed to all organizations and institutions in Germany which might encounter persons who have been discriminated against.

Another important channel were emails sent to all major civil society actors (including universities, trade unions, student councils, etc.) and relevant associations, institutions and organizations (retirement homes, associations of people with disability, shelters etc.).

Major Challenges

It was not that easy to communicate the survey to all the different target groups (people discriminated against because of gender, age etc.). To reach as many people as possible it was necessary to have intensive public relations work, to get directly in contact with the different representations of interest and to send them survey material. FADA therefore also offered help completing the survey for persons with learning difficulties. Furthermore, FADA worked together with acquainted persons who had the function of multipliers; they had the task to make the survey public.

Public perception

It is not possible to comment on this right now, because the survey is not yet evaluated and the results are not yet made public.

Perception of the target audience

Round about 16.000 people participated in the survey.

Policy impact

The results of the survey will be used to voice recommendations for the German parliament (2017).


With regard to the content of the survey, please contact Nathalie Schlenzka (, Tel.: +49 3018 555 1813)

Further Information

Survey on Discrimination – Brochure


Umfrage Diskriminierung

Der Polizist Wolfgang Appenzeller hat Diskriminierung erlebt. Sie auch? Berichten Sie davon! Machen Sie mit bei unserer großen Umfrage zu Diskriminierung in Deutschland. Bis zum 30.11. hier:

Posted by Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes (ADS) on Thursday, 5 November 2015

Karoline Herfurth, Raul Krauthausen, Kübra Gümüsay und Marius Broening haben Diskriminierung erlebt. Sie auch? Berichten Sie davon! Machen Sie mit bei unserer großen Umfrage zu Diskriminierung in Deutschland. Noch bis 30. November hier:

Posted by Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes (ADS) on Friday, 23 October 2015

Karoline Herfurth hat Diskriminierung erlebt. Sie auch? Berichten Sie davon! Machen Sie mit bei unserer großen Umfrage zu Diskriminierung in Deutschland. Hier:

Posted by Antidiskriminierungsstelle des Bundes (ADS) on Wednesday, 21 October 2015

(more in the Videos section:

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