Protecting children and young people

Children's rights in Germany

How have children’s rights in Germany changed since 2014? The Cabinet has now adopted a report on the status of these rights, which is to be submitted to the United Nations.

Three girls read a textbook.

Every child has the right to education - including free primary schooling

Photo: mauritius images

The German government is thus complying with its reporting obligations under the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Germany ratified in 1992.

The"United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child", commonly abbreviated as UNCRC, is the most important international human rights instrument for children. It sets out the main, globally valid, rights of children, including the right to protection against violence, the right to education, participation and equal treatment and the right to leisure time, relaxation and play. These rights are universal, which means they apply to all children. 192 countries – almost every country in the world – have signed the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.

The United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child will study the report. Specifically, 18 selected experts will examine whether or not Germany has complied with the rights set out in UNCRC and has strengthened these rights. In addition, the body can make recommendations on how better to protect children in Germany.

Contents of the report

The new report provides information about the most important developments in strengthening children’s rights in Germany since 2014. In particular, it covers the following:

  • Civil rights and liberties of children
  • Violence against children
  • Family structures and alternative care
  • Children with disabilities, health, welfare
  • Education, liberty and cultural activities for children
  • Special protective measures (for instance for child refugees, street children and children from minority).

Since protecting and strengthening children’s rights is a cross-cutting responsibility, the report lists measures taken in all policy fields and all parts of society, and at all levels including the federal states.

Every five years, Germany submits a report on trends in childrens rights in the Federal Republic of Germany to the United Nations Committee on the Rights of the Child. The report takes measures, statistics and data to provide an overview of the implementation of the rights of the child set out in UNCRC inside Germany. It does not provide any technical or political evaluation.

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