KidsRights Index 2015: Germany scores 13th
The ‘enabling environment for child rights’ domain is unique, as it provides insight into the extent to which a country is formally equipped to carry out the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, in the eyes of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC).
Ranked 13th, the KidsRights Index 2015 shows that Germany needs to do more to provide the necessary conditions to realize children’s rights.
Important conclusions and recommendation from the KidsRights Index Domain 5 (Concluding Observations 2014: UN CRC Committee): On non-discrimination (average score: 2):
The anti-discrimination measures adopted by Germany, particularly those aimed at promoting a culture of understanding and tolerance, are being welcomed. However, the KidsRights Index shows that children with disabilities and a migration background continue to face discrimination in Germany, especially regarding education and health-care services.
Recommendations: To increase measures to combat discrimination, in particular against children with disabilities and a migration background, through programmes and policies to reduce inequalities in access to education, health and development, to continue efforts to raise awareness of discrimination, to continue efforts to promote a tolerant environment in schools and other spaces for children. (CO 2014 para. 25)
On best interests (average score: 2): The well being of the child is a guiding principle in Germany’s legal order and applied increasingly. Yet, the KidsRights Index shows that the principle of the best interests of the child has not been fully incorporated into federal legislation and that the prioritization of the child’s best interests has not yet been integrated into all areas of the government. In particular, it is often ignored in regards to children from educationally and socioeconomically disadvantaged families, including refugee and asylum-seeking children.
Recommendations: To ensure that the right of the child to have his or her best interests taken as a primary consideration is properly integrated and steadily applied in all legislative, administrative and judicial proceedings and in all policies, programmes and projects that are relevant to children, to develop actions and criteria to guide relevant persons in determining the best interests of the child (CO 2014 para. 27)
On legislation (average score: 2): The adoption of specified legislative measures is being welcomed. The KidsRights Index shows that most Länder have explicitly recognized children’s rights in their constitutions. However, there is concern that children’s rights have not yet been clearly recognized in the constitutions of Hamburg and Hessen, or in the Federal Constitution. Moreover, under article 59, paragraph 2, of the Basic Law, the CRC is placed at the level of an ordinary federal law.
Recommendations: To consider the possibility of replacing the term „custody” with the term „parental responsibility”, in line with the object and purpose of the Convention. (CO 2014 para. 43)
On data (average score: 2): Germany is aware of the importance of establishing a comprehensive data collection system. However, the KidsRights Index shows that Germany does not have a comprehensive system for collecting data on all areas covered by the CRC. This is one of the major obstacles for the effective planning, monitoring and evaluation of policies, programmes and projects for children, especially in the fields of violence against children, children with disabilities, juvenile justice and child refugees.
Recommendations: To establish a comprehensive and integrated system to collect data on children covering all Länder and the entire period of childhood up to the age of 18, to introduce indicators on children’s rights which could be used to analyse and assess progress in the realization of those rights, the data should be disaggregated by age, sex, disability, geographical location, ethnicity, migration status and socioeconomic background to enable the assessment of the overall situation of children and provide guidance for the formulation, monitoring and evaluation of policies, programmes and projects for the effective implementation of the Convention (CO 2014 para. 16)
On state-civil society cooperation (average score: 2): The 2005-2010 National Action Plan initiated a broad discussion on children’s rights. However, the KidsRights Index shows that the practical implementation of the National Action Plan did not sufficiently involve civil society organizations and other actors at the local level.
Recommendations: To strengthen and organize further information distribution and awareness-raising campaigns to prevent the practice of Female Genital Mutilation, also by involving civil society and the media. (CO 2014 para. 39b)
Quelle: Presseinformation der KidsRights Foundation, in cooperation with Erasmus University Rotterdam vom 12.1.2016