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Three children are killed every week in Germany
A doll left outside a house in Köngen where two baby bodies were found in 2014. Photo: DPA

Three children are killed every week in Germany

Jörg Luyken · 1 Jun 2016, 15:35

Published: 01 Jun 2016 15:35 GMT+02:00

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In total 130 children were killed in 2015, and 81 percent of the children were under the age of six at the time of their death.

There were a further 52 cases of attempted child homicide, the figures released by the Federal Criminal Police Office (BKA) to mark International Children’s Day show.

"Every day children are victims of violence and abuse,” said Holger Münch, head of the BKA. “They are neglected, sexually abused and pictures of the abuse are then spread on the internet. Child pornography is a mass phenomenon.”

The number of deaths of children through negligence rose by 51 percent. In the states of Saxony and Rhineland-Palatinate the figure rose by 300 percent, and in Hesse by a remarkable 500 percent.

While the number of child homicides in 2015 rose slightly from 108 in 2014, over the course of a decade the trend has been downwards.

In the ten years since 2006, 2015 was the year with the second lowest child homicide rate after 2014. It was also significantly lower than the 202 homicides recorded in 2006.

Attempted homicide of children also reached a low for the decade in 2015.

Red: homicide. Blue: attempted homicide. Source BKA

Meanwhile, the number of cases of physical abuse of children dropped by 6 percent in 2015.

Sexual assaults on children dropped by 3.24 percent. But there were still 13,928 cases of sexual assault registered, meaning on average 38 children fell victim to this crime each day.

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Despite a successful campaign by the BKA to eradicate websites which distribute child pornography in Germany, the number of cases relating to the possession of child pornography only dropped by 0.52 percent in comparison with 2014.

“Experts believe that for every child victim of abuse recorded in official statistics, there are a further five victims,” said Kathinka Beckmann, an expert in child protection at the Koblenz University of Applied Sciences.

"As long as politicians keep talking about subsidies for the car industry, and as long as the citizenry are more shocked by tortured animals than they are by children who are tortured and beaten to death, little will change."

For more news from Germany, join us on Facebook and Twitter.

Jörg Luyken (joerg.luyken@thelocal.com)

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