Facts about Germany 2015 2015 - Page 52

50 | 51 FOREIGN POLICY TOPIC PROTECTION OF HUMAN RIGHTS “Human dignity shall be inviolable. To re- the protection and improvement of human spect and protect it shall be the duty of all rights standards. state authority.” This is the clear mandate in Article 1 of the German Basic Law, in Commitment to international which Germany acknowledges “inviolable human rights institutions and inalienable human rights” as “the basis of every community, of peace and of justice Germany is a contracting partner to the in the world”. Germany also takes this obli- UN’s important human rights treaties and gation seriously in its relations with foreign their Additional Protocols (Civil Pact, Social countries. The protection and strengthen- Pact, Anti-Racism Convention, Women’s ing of human rights play a special role in Rights Convention, Convention against Tor- the foreign-policy and international con- ture, Children’s Rights Convention, Conven- text, as systematic human rights violations tion on the Rights of Persons with Disabil- are frequently the first step towards con- ities, Convention for the Protection of All flicts and crises. Together with its partners Persons from Enforced Disappearance). in the EU and in collaboration with the Most recently Germany signed the Add- United Nations (UN), Germany advocates itional Protocol to the Convention against Torture, and the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, both of which INFO have been in force since 2009. Germany was the first European nation to ratify the Add- Civil Society The many non-government organisations in Germany also champion the global enforcement of human rights, progress in development policy, and humanitarian assistance. They encourage the politicians responsible to take action and raise awareness for such activities among the population. But they also take active steps themselves, collect donations and coordinate projects of their own. Around 120 organisations make up VENRO, the umbrella organisation of non-governmental development organisations. → venro.org itional Protocol to the Children’s Rights Convention, which makes an individual complaints procedure possible. The Federal Government supports protection from discrimination and racism, takes an active stand worldwide against the death penalty and for political participation and legal protection, defends the freedom of religion and belief, fights human trafficking, and pushes for enforcement of the right to housing and the right to clean water and sanitation. Almost 900 million people