Berlin (dpa) – The federal government wants to strengthen children’s rights and has initiated an amendment to the Basic Law.
The federal cabinet decided on Wednesday in Berlin that children’s rights must be explicitly included in the constitution. However, it is uncertain whether the project will yield anything, as two-thirds majorities in the Bundestag and Bundesrat are required for changes to the Basic Law. So the grand coalition is dependent on the approval of the opposition, which has already expressed criticism – either because the project is going too far or not going enough for it.
“Children are not small adults. They are particularly vulnerable and have special needs, ”said Federal Justice Minister Christine Lambrecht (SPD) Wednesday. “This is now also explicitly recognized in the Basic Law.”
According to the government’s draft, Article 6 of the Basic Law, which regulates the relationship between parents, children and the state, should be supplemented with the following passage: “The constitutional rights of children, including their right to develop into independent personalities, must be respected and protected. Due account must be taken of the best interests of the child. The constitutional right of children to be heard must be upheld. The primary responsibility of the parents remains unaffected. “
The CDU, CSU and SPD had decided in their coalition agreement to explicitly include the rights of children for their joint term of office in the Basic Law. Child protection organizations have been calling for this for years. Proponents argue that the constitution will give a whole new weight to children’s concerns and should always be taken into account – for example, in legislation or in practical terms when planning whether to build a playground or a gas station on a site. whether there will be a bypass around a residential area.
There was a long dispute between the Union and the SPD over the specific design and clarity of the wording. Politicians from the CDU and CSU had expressed fear that the state would interfere too strongly with families.
The compromise that has now been found is generally welcomed by child protection organizations such as UNICEF or the German Child Protection Organization, but the wording is also criticized as clearly too weak. Greens and leftists are also advocating changes here, such as real participation rights for children, so that they can participate in political, social and economic processes and their interests are taken into account.
On the other hand, FDP politicians besides the Union warned against too strong wording. The AfD rejects the planned amendment to the Basic Law.
Lambrecht said the inclusion of children’s rights in the Basic Law could become a reality this year. You should not pass up this historic opportunity. “For this we need a broad parliamentary majority, which we can only achieve with a constructive attitude and the willingness to compromise on the part of all concerned.”