Inclusion is, when all are allowed to participate....

Dear reader,

an important virtue of our society is tolerance vis-a-vis people who are different to us. In this context, experience shows that the more people can take part in our societal life and can feel welcome in their individuality, the earlier and more extensive with their different views and experiences they are able to contribute to the community's success. That's true for all human beings, regardless of their differences.

However, experience shows too, that mutual behaviour requires a common basic understanding as well as rules; rules which are developed further and need to be developed further. For example, on March 26th 2009 the UN convention on people with disabilities came into power in Germany. Until then, the objective was to "integrate" disabled persons into existing structures, but now, "inclusion" demanded the adaptation of structures to their needs.

For the education sector, in which the notion of "inclusion" was applied for the first time, this means that: instead of schools with special learning environment and specially trained teachers, it is now all about to enable children with disabilities to participate in lessons at ordinary schools. Here, education facilities face big challenges personally and financially.

A further developmental step represents the Federal Participation Act, endorsed by the ministerial cabinet on June 28th 2016 and the National Action Plan (NAP) 2.0. They are meant to advance inclusion of disabled persons in Germany and to grant this group of people more self-determination and participation in all works of life.

The objective enabling disabled persons to participate in all sectors of life makes inclusion an important element at the implementation of diversity that aims at acknowledgement of societal variety, individuality and of the individuals' needs as well as their participation in society. During the inclusion of disabled persons there are numerous further initiatives and regulations which shall enable people participation in our society under equal terms under the umbrella of "diversity". These include for example:

  • the general non-discrimination act (2006), which shall "prevent or eradicate discrimination for reasons of race or of ethnical origin, gender, religion or political orientation, disability, age or sexual identity".
  • the "Charter of diversity" (2012), is a self-commitment by companies and institutions towards diversity and tolerance, fairness and appreciation of people at work and was signed already by numerous enterprises as well as institutions such as the managers' federation DIE FÜHRUNGSKRÄFTE - DFK.
  • the law on equal participation of women and men in managerial positions
  • the law on fostering of remuneration structures (2017) and the "Equal Pay Day" which was initiated by women's organisations

Apart from the cultural change, all these measures have also another essential aspect: they work against the detrimental demography in the world of labour, as more people stay in work, more women assume managerial positions and more people from other countries and as well as cultures work in our country.     


Bernhard v. Rothkirch