Germany’s human rights policy

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Human rights – a cornerstone of German foreign policy

Some things are non-negotiable: Germany continues to campaign assiduously for human rights around the world. It was a vision of a better world that brought men and women from across the globe to Pari...

Human rights

International principles

German human rights policy has one concrete goal: to protect people against violations of their rights and fundamental freedoms.

Fight against the death penalty

Germany regards the right to life as the most precious thing there is. That’s why the Federal Government and its partners in the European Union have for many years been pursuing an active campaign against the death penalty around the world.

Menschenrechtsrat der Vereinten Nationen, Schweiz/Genf

Germany in the UN Human Rights Council

Germany regards the Human Rights Council as the central international institution for the protection of human rights and the further development of human rights standards.

Aung San Suu Kyi, demokratische Oppositionsführerin in Myanmar und Friedensnobelpreisträgerin 1991, trifft Markus Löning, den Beauftragten der Bundesregierung für Menschenrechtspolitik und Humanitäre Hilfe

Protection for human rights defenders

In many countries people take huge risks to defend the rights of individuals, to raise an awareness of human rights or to try to persuade organizations to protect specific rights or certain sections of the population.

Basketball Artists School – a German international sports cooperation project – supports kids from the townships of Windhoek (Namibia).

Projects aimed at protecting human rights

The Federal Foreign Office, via its missions abroad, supports a wide range of projects aimed at protecting human rights. You can find a few examples here.

Sauberes Wasser für die Städte, Indonesien/Jakarta

Human right to clean drinking water and sanitation

Some 900 million people around the world have no access to clean drinking water, while 2.5 billion people have no toilet. Related illnesses kill more children than diseases such as malaria, measles and HIV/AIDS combined.

Bärbel Kofler

Federal Government Commissioner

Bärbel Kofler has been the Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights Policy and Humanitarian Aid since 1 March 2016. The Commissioner is contact point for all issues relating to human rights policy and humanitarian aid.

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Implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Germany intends to become inclusive: With the National Action Plan to Implement the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the Federal Government of Germany is setting a process in motion which will exert a major influence in the next ten years not only on the lives of persons with disabilities, but on those of everyone in Germany. The idea of inclusion, which is the central guiding concept of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, will change our everyday culture.