The German federal government acted on the UN Committee’s recommendation from the Concluding Observations from 2014 and, in 2015, set up a monitoring mechanism for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child at the German Institute for Human Rights (DIMR) as a project temporarily funded by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ), running until the end of 2019.
This monitoring institution checks sections of the legislation at a federal level, and sometimes also at a state level, to ensure they comply with the normative provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child and its Optional Protocols. It informs the various stakeholders at the federal or state level, sometimes also at the municipal level, of the Convention’s provisions, and refers to their comments on interpreting the various articles of the Convention. In the event of shortcomings in implementing the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, made known to the monitoring mechanism as part of its consultations with civil society or with children and adolescents, the monitoring mechanism follows up on these and, if necessary, initiates its own research projects.
Based on the resulting findings, and with the involvement of the affected children and adolescents themselves or their associations, the monitoring institution develops recommendations for policymakers, as well as for civil society, with the aim of getting closer to implementing the provisions of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. The monitoring mechanism shares its findings with the United Nations’ various contractual bodies worldwide, such as UNICEF and the Global Alliance of National Human Rights Institutions.
The complaints mechanism for children’s rights stipulated in the UN Committee’s Concluding Observations from 2014 is not part of the monitoring mechanism´s tasks. Neither the German federal government nor the DIMR has taken action regarding the establishment of a complaints mechanism. Germany continues to lack an independent institution that receives and investigates complaints at a national level.
The current resources available to the monitoring mechanism to monitor implementation of the convention at a federal, state and local level are far from adequate in terms of staffing, finance and its authority. Furthermore, the monitoring mechanism does not have an unlimited time frame, and is instead dependent on the annual plan formulated by the German Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, which is currently supporting the office until 2019. A legal basis is thus yet to be established for this. The monitoring mechanism for implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child has never been required to regularly report to the German Federal Parliament (Bundestag).
- The National Coalition Germany recommends that the UN Committee call on the German federal government to
- 13. Make the monitoring mechanism for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child at the German Institute for Human Rights a permanent fixture in the legislation, and provide it with adequate resources;
- 14. Advise the Bundestag to ask the monitoring mechanism for an annual report on the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in Germany, and debate this publicly;
- 15. Facilitate and support the establishment of an independent complaints mechanism at a federal, state and municipal level.