Article 1 of Germany’s constitution (or Basic Law) is a commitment to human dignity and human rights as the basis of every community. German foreign policy has the clear objective of protecting people worldwide from violations of their human rights and interference with their fundamental freedoms.
The Federal Foreign Office and country’s diplomatic missions support about 70 (mainly NGO) projects a year, mostly in developing and emerging countries, to assert human rights in the respective country.
Fields of action in human rights policy
The German government actively opposes discrimination against sexual minorities. It supports projects abroad aimed at raising awareness of the issue and tackling homophobia, discrimination and intolerance.
Areas in which German human rights policy is active include the protection of children, women, sexual minorities, disabled people and human rights defenders; the fight against human trafficking, torture and the death penalty; and access to water.
Commitment to children‘s rights
The Federal Republic of Germany is a signatory to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child and its additional protocols. Germany also supports the International Programme on the Elimination of Child Labour.
In many regions of the world, children are recruited as soldiers or suffer in the aftermath of armed conflicts. Germany chairs the United Nations Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict, campaigning to enable children to play and study rather than bear arms.
Nuremberg, city of human rights
Nuremberg has been trying to learn forward-looking lessons from the city’s role during the Nazi era and is committed to human rights. The city presents the Nuremberg International Human Rights Award and stages the International Human Rights Film Festival.
In Nuremberg the Israeli sculptor Dani Karavan has created a symbolic work of art on the protection of human rights: the Road of Human Rights. Nuremberg was the first city to be awarded the UNESCO Prize for Human Rights Education.