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Schröder unveils plan to better protect kids

The Local · 27 Sep 2011, 15:39

Published: 27 Sep 2011 15:39 GMT+02:00

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The “Action Plan 2011,” presented on Tuesday, stresses the importance of civic responsibility among ordinary Germans, but it also includes new plans to streamline sex abuse reporting procedures and provide resources to young people at risk.

“The horrific cases of abuse in institutions and families show that we must increase our efforts at all social and political levels to protect children even further” said Family Affairs Minister Kristina Schröder.

Cases of child abuse in the Catholic Church hung over Pope Benedict XVI’s recent visit to Germany, when he held an impromptu meeting with some adult victims.

Schröder said that one way to prevent abuse is to institute a national programme to expand abuse education in schools.

Schröder also wants to strengthen background checks conducted on people working with children in youth shelters, schools and other places where young people congregate.

Under the plan, more information would be released about past offences by potential workers and the checks would cover a longer time period.

The plan also envisions loosening restrictions on mental health professionals so they can more easily tell authorities when young people are at risk. It would also promote more extensive networking between child protection authorities.

Story continues below…

But the DKSB child protection federation said Tuesday that the new plan did little to provide secure funding for youth shelters or counselling centres. It said workers are forced to spend too much time figuring out how to get more donations instead of working with young people.

The Local/DAPD/mdm

The Local (news@thelocal.de)

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Your comments about this article

16:39 September 27, 2011 by michael4096
Protecting children must be the priority.

However, I question whether government institutions and national policies are the best way to do it. The UK has gone overboard in this direction and the result is almost no male primary school teachers and a shortage of youth workers because of the guilty until proven innocent mentality now manifest. It simply isn't worth their hassle.
17:20 September 27, 2011 by slawek
Schroeder makes a good first step. However she misses the point a bit. The issue is not just sexual abuse anymore, but violence in families in general. If children learn to accept violence as punishment already from their parents, they become vulnerable to become victims of other crimes as well. I'd say Schroeder should focus much more on inner-family issues, which are statistically the actual problem nowadays I'd assume, rather than external risks. Not to mention the risk of victims becoming perpetrators in later life - you have to break the loop by catching and punishing the perpetrator at some point.
23:24 September 27, 2011 by delvek
For me, the discplined I recieved from my parents (in hindsight) was much needed. I thank my parents for being strict and loving at the same time.

As far as protecting children from sexual predators, I commend the Germany government for taking much needed steps and hope they continue to introduce robust steps that deter anyone from considering abusing a child sexually.
17:37 September 28, 2011 by DOZ
The only way to protect children is to keep them away from adults period. A start would be the removal of all children from parents who haven't achieved a High School Education.
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