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Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography, on a Communication Procedure
ViolenceThe Committee is concerned about ongoing violence experienced by children in schools and other institutions, including physical violence, bullying and an increase in cyberbullying. Furthermore, the Committee is concerned at the lack of adequately qualified teachers and school social workers in some schools to address the issue, as well as qualified staff in other institutions.
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is prohibited.
Overview of the child rights situation

In Germany, significant numbers of girls are exposed to female genital mutilation. In addition, the prescription of psychostimulants for ADHD or ADD patients is extremely high. Children with disabilities, especially girls, are exposed to violence, and coal mining has a negative impact on children's health.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee is concerned about the significant number of girls living in the State party who are affected by genital mutilation or at risk of either being temporarily sent to a country where genital mutilation is practised or being exposed to it within the State party. The Committee also notes with concern that medical staff are often not well informed about genital mutilation and preventive and protective measures, and are therefore unable to give advice and provide help. To improve the situation, the Committee urges the State party to draft a national policy and strategy against female genital mutilation and to provide training on the prevention of and response to female genital mutilation for all relevant professional groups. Also, Germany should strengthen and organize further information dissemination and awareness-raising campaigns to prevent the practice. In that regard, particular focus should be placed on campaigns targeting girls at risk, informing them about access to help and advice. The Committee recommends to further strengthen measures for the elimination of female genital mutilation in its international cooperation programmes by, inter alia, extending financial and technical assistance to countries where female genital mutilation is practised.

Racism, children belonging to a minority and indigenous childrenThe Committee regrets that children from ethnic-minority backgrounds have a significantly weaker record of school achievement, twice the number of children from ethnic-minority backgrounds leave school without qualifications, compared to pupils from non-ethnic minority backgrounds.<br /> Therefore, the Committee recommends to allocate sufficient human, technical and financial resources to provide additional support to children from an ethnic-minority background within school facilities.
Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee is concerned about the findings of a recent study undertaken by the State party, according to which girls with disabilities are frequently at risk of violence, including sexual violence.
The Committee recommends that the State party take every necessary measure to prevent all forms of violence against children with disabilities, paying particular attention to the safety of girls with disabilities. In that regard, the Committee recommends that the State party provide particular protection and complaints mechanisms for children with disabilities who have become victims of violence.
The Committee notes with concern that children with disabilities from migrant families often do not receive the same support as their peers without a migration background, owing to a lack of information and/or their parents’ difficulties in accessing the necessary forms and applications, and/or ignorance lack of awareness about the disability.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe Committee is concerned about inadequate access for asylum-seeking children and those in irregular migration situations to health services, including treatment of acute illnesses, preventive health care and psychosocial therapy. The Committee recommends that the State party ensure that the age assessment procedure applied to asylum-seeking and refugee children is based on scientifically approved methods and is in full respect of children’s dignity. Furthermore, the Committee recommends to improve the identification of child soldiers and children in danger of being recruited and ensure that they are granted refugee status, in order to better assess their protection needs and ensure they receive adequate psychological and social support.
Free kindergartenNo
Free primary and secondary schoolYes
physical health

The Committee is concerned at new morbidities in children which are being insufficiently addressed, related to attachment disorders, and to an increase in children’s emotional and behavioural problems, owing to pressure to succeed at school.
The Committee recommends that the State party undertake advocacy and awareness-raising programmes targeting schools and families, emphasizing the importance of physical exercise, and healthy eating habits and lifestyles. It should also take all the necessary steps to address the existing disparities in health outcomes. Special attention should be paid to children and young people in vulnerable situations, especially those from socially disadvantaged or migration backgrounds.

Relation to other countries
mental health

The Committee is concerned about the over-prescription of psychostimulants to children and about excessive diagnoses of attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) or attention deficit disorder (ADD), and in particular the forced removal of children who are diagnosed/misdiagnosed with ADHD or ADD from their families and their subsequent placement in foster care or psychiatric hospitals, where many of them are treated with psychotropic medication.
To improve the situation, the Committee recommends that the State party ensure that the placement of children in foster care or psychiatric hospitals is used as a last resort only, following a proper diagnosis and provide families with access to psychological counselling and emotional support. Also, Germany should establish a system of independent expert monitoring of the diagnosis of ADHD and ADD and of the use of drug treatments for children, ensure that relevant health authorities determine the root causes of inattention in the classroom and improve the diagnosis of mental health problems among children. In addition, the Committee recommends to put a stop to the practice of labelling children as “having a psychiatric problem” in cases that are not validated by medical evidence.

Business sector

The Committee notes that the State party uses a significant amount of coal to produce power and is concerned about the negative impact that coal emissions have on children’s health. The Committee is also concerned about the lack of adequate measures taken by the State party against German companies that conduct business abroad and reportedly violate children’s rights and other human rights.
Therefore, the Committee recommends that the State party establish a clear regulatory framework for the industries operating in the State party to ensure that their activities do not negatively affect human rights or endanger environmental and other standards, especially those relating to children’s rights. Germany should also take into consideration the best interests of the child when adopting budgetary measures such as the allocation of subsidies for businesses that affect children’s rights. Additionally, Germany should examine and adapt its civil, criminal and administrative legislative framework to ensure that business enterprises and their subsidiaries operating in or managed from the State party’s territory are legally accountable for any violations of children’s rights and human rights.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee notes with satisfaction the legislative amendment prohibiting children in detention from being placed with persons up to the age of 24. However, the Committee regrets that not all Länder apply the principle of “deprivation of liberty as a last resort”.

Specific observations

While noting the measures undertaken by the State party to investigate cases of child abuse committed by church officials, the Committee is concerned that several cases have not been investigated.
The Committee recommends that the State party take all the necessary measures to expedite the investigation and prosecution of cases of child abuse allegedly committed by church officials.

Additional BackgroundConcluding observations on the third and fourth periodic reports released on 25 February 2015.
Last Updated (date)22nd of February, 2022