Parliamentarian says Germany in violation of UN children's rights

DPA/The Local
DPA/The Local - [email protected] • 12 Jan, 2009 Updated Mon 12 Jan 2009 09:03 CEST
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The children of illegal immigrants in Germany should have the same “human right” to an education as German students, head of the parliamentary committee for education Ulla Burchardt told news agency DPA on Monday.

"Children without legal residency have the right to go to school," she said, adding that this right needs to be set down in administrative regulations on both a federal and state level because it is part of the United Nations children’s rights convention that was also signed by Germany. Not doing so is a "clear violation" of the UN convention, she said.

She estimated that there were some 500,000 illegal immigrants living in the country, among them tens of thousands of children, she said. Educators and German students should no longer be made to report students without papers to the immigration department she said, adding that the situation in the state of Hesse is "especially crass" because teachers are threatened with "employment consequences" if they fail to report suspicions.

Burchardt encouraged Interior Minister Wolfgang Schäuble to unify a position on the matter with the different states when he meets with them this month.

The coalition contract between the Social Democrats (SPD) and the Angela Merkel’s Christian Democrats (CDU) in 2005 determined that “this grievance would be eliminated,” Burchardt said, adding that “since then not much has changed.”

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