GERMANY: NEHER (CARITAS), "EVERY CHILD IS ENTITLED TO PROTECTION AND CARE"” “” “

"We have to support children especially those who escaped to Germany without their parents". The president of Caritas Germany, Mgr. Peter Neher, said this today to mark the 25th Anniversary of the signature of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which states that priority must be given to the well-being of children in all legal cases involving them. "Every child has the right to be protected, cared for and looked after", Neher said. It is clear, especially in the case of unaccompanied refugee minors, that the German authorities have failed to fully implement the legislation that would have ensured their protection: "Vulnerable children who are fleeing their home countries to escape persecution and violence are often traumatised and unable to find the therapeutic support they need. There is a urgent need to introduce high, common standards in all German Länder", Mgr. Neher added. Caritas Germany is opposed to the Free State of Bavaria’s proposed changes to the legislation which would allow the relocation of unaccompanied children upon their arrival, with different quotas throughout Germany: "In this process, the well-being of the child is not taken into consideration". Some 6,590 unaccompanied refugee children have arrived in Germany in 2013, which represents an increase of 40% compared to the previous year. The majority of them are aged 14 to 18 and come from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria and Somalia. ” “

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