03.05.2010

PRO ASYL wel­co­mes the full vali­di­ty of the UN Con­ven­ti­on for all child­ren

PRO ASYL wel­co­mes today’s deci­si­on of the Ger­man government to with­draw its reser­va­tions towards the United Nati­ons Con­ven­ti­on on the Rights of the Child. This step has been long over­due: human rights and refu­gee orga­ni­sa­ti­ons have been advo­ca­ting for the with­dra­wal of the reser­va­ti­on for 18 years. „Final­ly the­re is an end to the scan­da­lous situa­ti­on that child­ren of refu­gees and migrants are denied to enjoy their basic human rights“, exp­lai­ned Hei­ko Kauff­mann, board mem­ber of PRO ASYL. „This is a good day for inter­na­tio­nal law and human rights“ he con­clu­ded.

The UN Con­ven­ti­on on the Rights of the Child was rati­fied by Ger­ma­ny on 5 April 1992 under reser­va­ti­on. The rights of the child, as lined out by the UN Con­ven­ti­on, were not to be app­lied in asyl­um pro­ce­du­res or wit­hin the area of immi­gra­ti­on laws. The con­se­quence of this sub­stan­ti­al discri­mi­na­ti­on was – for examp­le – that 16 year old minors were trea­ted as adults wit­hin asyl­um pro­ce­du­res and could be sub­mit­ted to detenti­on.

The UN Con­ven­ti­on on the Rights of the Child prio­ri­ti­zes the best inte­rest of the child wit­hin all offi­ci­al pro­cee­dings. PRO ASYL wel­co­mes that this princip­le will now be ful­ly app­lied for child­ren of refu­gees and migrants as well.

The „Bun­des­tag“, the Ger­man Par­lia­ment, had alre­ady recom­men­ded to with­draw the reser­va­tions towards the Con­ven­ti­on on the Rights of the Child on 26 Sep­tem­ber 2001. Sin­ce then many deci­si­ons of the par­lia­ment repeated this recom­men­da­ti­on. The with­dra­wal of reser­va­tions had also ent­e­red nume­rous par­ty pro­gram­mes and government decla­ra­ti­ons. Howe­ver, pre­vious governments usual­ly exp­lai­ned the fail­u­re to with­draw the reser­va­tions by poin­ting to the resis­tan­ce of regio­nal governments wit­hin Ger­ma­ny and their com­pe­ten­ces wit­hin the federal poli­ti­cal sys­tem. On 26 March 2010 the „Bun­des­rat“, the rep­re­sen­ta­ti­on of all regio­nal governments, final­ly gave up its blo­cka­de and deci­ded to wel­co­me a with­dra­wal of the reser­va­tions.

„Today’s deci­si­on could mean the good ending of an almost never-ending sto­ry, if the government would take imme­dia­te action to impro­ve the situa­ti­on of child refu­gees by ful­ly imple­men­ting the Con­ven­ti­on on the Rights of the Child“, said Hei­ko Kauff­mann.

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