Asylum seekers and refugees launched protests and hunger strikes against conditions in reception centers and restrictions on freedom of movement and access to the labor market throughout 2013.
The trial of an alleged member of a neo-Nazi cell accused of murdering nine immigrants and a policewoman, and four alleged accomplices, began in May. A federal commission of inquiry made recommendations in August towards improving German police practices, including increased attention to hate crimes, more diversity among the police, and a greater emphasis on human rights in police training. Parliament rejected bills to enhance penalties for racially-motivated crimes as well as a bill to introduce hate crimes as a specific category.
In April, Baden-Württemberg issued a decree requiring individual risk assessments before returning Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptians to Kosovo, but deported 127 people in April and 90 to Serbia and Macedonia in July. At least three German states continued to forcibly return Roma, Ashkali, and Egyptians to Kosovo without adequate risk assessments and despite concerns about discrimination and inadequate integration measures upon return.
The German Institute for Human Rights reported in June that ethnic profiling is a common police practice, particularly in transportation hubs for immigration control purposes, and recommended legal and policy reforms.
The government denied allegations that German intelligence and police services profited from US mass surveillance technology and collaborated with US intelligence agencies despite leaked information suggesting the contrary.
In September, Germany ratified the ILO Domestic Workers Convention. In December 2012, the parliament adopted a bill clarifying that parents have the right to have their sons circumcised for religious reasons in accordance with certain medical standards.
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