The International League for Human Rights presents
Report on Basic Rights 2020 published
Presenter Igor Levit: “Questions about solidarity, togetherness, for each other – they are more topical than ever!
Joint press release of 10 civil rights organisations
Since 1997, the Basic Rights Report: On the Situation of Civil and Human Rights in Germany has been published around Constitution Day on 23 May. On Tuesday, June 2, 2020, ten German civil and human rights organizations presented the new edition of the “Alternative Report on the Protection of the Constitution” to the public in Berlin and online. The 39 individual articles in the report are focused on current threats to fundamental rights and central constitutional principles, but also on individual advances in fundamental rights, using concrete cases from the past year. Decisions by parliaments, authorities and courts, but also by private companies are examined.
The authors of this year’s report analyse topics as diverse as the introduction of extended DNA analysis in criminal procedural law, the threat to the environment and health posed by nitrate pollution of groundwater, the use of stun guns in police patrol duty, the expansion of deportation custody or Germany’s co-responsibility for the US drone war.
The pianist Igor Levit, who is also known for his human rights work against racism and anti-Semitism, presented this year’s report on fundamental rights. For Levit, society is facing hitherto unknown challenges: “The defense and expansion of basic and civil rights and the creation of a solidary community based on them must therefore be the top priority of all of us. The questions of solidarity, togetherness, for one another – they are more topical than ever.”
One focus of this year’s edition of the Report on Fundamental Rights is on fundamental rights disputes concerning the basic need for housing, from “rent brakes” and Berlin “rent caps” to the inviolability of housing (Article 13 of the German Constitution) in refugee accommodation and the much-discussed socialisation of housing. Ingrid Hoffmann, tenant at Deutsche Wohnen and representative of the Berlin campaign “Deutsche Wohnen und Co. Enteignen!”, explained: “We want to socialise real estate companies with more than 3,000 apartments in accordance with Article 15 of the German Constitution. Housing is best served as democratically administered common property, not as speculative investment property.”
Two articles in the Basic Rights Report 2020 are dedicated to the state’s duty to protect under Article 2 Paragraph 2 Sentence 1 of the German Constitution, to ensure a sustainable health care system. Nurse Ulla Hedemann, who works in a children’s intensive care unit in Berlin, provided information on this. She reported on the devastating effects of the nursing crisis and the current billing system on employees and on the basic right to health: “The per-case flat rate system is not designed for people, but only for profits. It creates false incentives that endanger us and our patients.” She connected her remarks with the demand to politicians to “introduce a new patient-oriented system”.
The following documents can be found in the appendix and on the Internet
– 1st Appendix: Joint press release of the editors of the Fundamental Rights Report 2020 (PDF in German)
– 2nd Appendix: Contribution by Rolf Gössner (Co-publisher/International League for Human Rights): Co-responsibility of the German government for the US drone war. Lawsuit for fatal attack by combat drones in Yemen leads to partial success (PDF in German)
– Table of contents of the Basic Rights Report
– Video recording of the presentation of the “Fundamental Rights Report 2020” in Berlin
– Media echo (selection / as of 03.06.2020), among others in ARD/ Tagesschau, Berliner Zeitung, Deutsche Welle, Frankfurter Rundschau, Heise.online, Islamische Zeitung, Junge Welt, LTO Legal Tribune Online, MiGAZIN, Neues Deutschland, Netzpolitik.org, RBB, Süddeutsche Zeitung, taz-die Tageszeitung …
Report on Basic Rights 2020 – The Situation of Civil and Human Rights in Germany. Edited by Leoni Michal Armbruster, Bellinda Bartolucci, Rolf Gössner, Julia Heesen, Martin Heiming, Hans-Jörg Kreowski, John Philipp Thurn, Rosemarie Will, Michèle Winkler and Christine Zedler. Fischer Taschenbuch Verlag, Frankfurt/M., May 2020, ISBN 978-3-596-70545-0, 240 pages, 12.00 Euro.
The Basic Rights Report 2020 is a joint project of:
Humanistische Union, united with the Gustav Heinemann Initiative – Bundesarbeitskreis Kritischer Juragruppen – International League for Human Rights – Committee for Fundamental Rights and Democracy – New Association of Judges – PRO ASYL – Republican Lawyers’ Association – Association of Democratic Lawyers – Forum InformatikerInnen für Frieden und gesellschaftliche Verantwortung – Society for Freedom Rights
Review copies (also as pdf) exclusively for press/review purposes can be ordered through the Humanistische Union: firstname.lastname@example.org. For further questions or interview requests please contact
Purchasing options: The book is available immediately from bookstores or the publishers’ website.
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