Child protection federation presents frightening facts

Every third child now experiences violence in the family

Just in time for world children’s day next sunday, the german child protection association is using the occasion to draw attention to the situation of children with dramatic figures and data. More and more children are being beaten or live in families that have to survive solely on welfare payments.

One in three children now experiences violence in the family. Children are maltreated, beaten and abused with objects. 17 percent of children report abuse. According to the president of the german child protection association, the number of children living in poverty has more than doubled in the past 20 years. Over 1.1 million young people were on welfare in 1998.

These and other erschutternde numbers come from the "pocketbook of the children’s press 2000", which was presented by patron doris schroder-kopf at the expo in the german pavilion. She hopes that this book will raise awareness of the problems faced by children and young people. As a mother, it is a personal concern for her, and as a journalist she appreciates well-founded research material, which is why she has taken on the patronage. This comprehensive reference work was sponsored by volkswagen. Vw board member dr. Klaus kocks on her commitment: "a society that spends more time caring for its cars than for its children is sick!"

Current figures and statistics provide the basis for a description of the situation of children and young people in germany. In addition to general basic figures and information on the family situation, income, housing, health and education, there is also extensive data on problem areas such as child and youth welfare or violence. To illustrate, a few facts from the "pocketbook of the children’s press 2000":

  1. In germany in 1998, 4.771 children born to a mother who is still a minor herself. The number of abortions of minors is steadily increasing. In 1998 there were 5.557 abortions.
  2. Almost half of the children under the age of three have a working mother.
  3. In the city states of bremen and hamburg, more children were affected by the withdrawal of parental custody in 1998 than in other german states.
  4. In berlin and hamburg, twice as many preliminary protective measures for children were taken in 1998.
  5. Children still die most often from injuries and poisoning.
  6. Non-german youths leave school without a secondary school diploma. One in five young people is affected.
  7. 28.58 percent of all known crimes against children involved sexual abuse.
  8. Every 10. Child was abused in childhood, 28 percent of children still report a "light breeding".

With a view to the world children’s day on 20. September under the motto "time for children" president hilgers criticized the fact that the un convention on the rights of the child, signed by germany in 1989, has not yet been ratified. Even at the municipal level it remains unheeded. Only the city of wiesbaden has made the children’s convention the basis of its children’s policy. Children must finally be granted the right to a non-violent upbringing, including under the german civil code (bgb).

But a corresponding legislative initiative failed only recently in the bundesrat to bavaria. It also demanded a uniform child allowance of 600 dm. Hilgert made it clear that poverty and violence in families encourage right-wing extremism and xenophobic acts of violence among children and young people. In hanover and berlin, on the occasion of the world children’s day on 16. And on 17. September events take place. Expo 2000 in particular wants to make a big push in this area. However, the marketing department overshot the advertising target. For at first a free entrance was aroused on advertising posters, but now it had to be revised. The usual expo admission prices still apply.

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