Fewer Germans find country child-friendly


Central Europe


German children. Photo AFP, Philippe Huguen

Less than half of the Germans (48 per cent) think that Germany is child-friendly. In 2015, that percentage was still 56 per cent.

That can be concluded from a representative survey on the occasion of the 50th birthday of the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk (German Children's Fund). According to the organisation, the survey shows a clear mandate for politics and society to do more for children.

The opinions on what constitutes a child-friendly society differ significantly. However, the aspect most respondents agree on is protecting children from violence. In addition, people believe that adequate opportunities for play and leisure are relevant to a child-friendly country. Also, child poverty and support for families with children were mentioned as important factors.

Interests of children during crisis

The survey shows that a large majority (92 per cent ) of the participants find it important to consider the interests of children, also during times of crisis, such as the Covid pandemic. Only 17 per cent believes that this happens in reality.

Participants are more optimistic about the sufficiency of places for play and leisure opportunities for children. About 46 per cent of them think that these needs of children are met very well. However, only a third of the participants consider the support for families with children sufficient.

According to the survey respondents, the government mainly fails to combat child poverty and protect children from violence sufficiently.

“Rights simply ignored”

Thomas Krüger, President of the Deutsches Kinderhilfswerk, asserts that the Covid pandemic shows the German government "fundamentally disregarded the needs of children." "Their right to participate in political decisions was and is often simply ignored." Krüger calls the government to take into account children's rights more consistently.

However, he also calls upon society to take responsibility for a child-friendly environment. "The neglect of children's interests, the closure of play streets, the neglect or dismantling of children's playgrounds, lawsuits against children's noise or restaurants and hotels where children are not allowed are signs of a child-weaned and in some places even child-hostile society. Child-friendliness begins in everyday life, with direct and respectful interaction with children."



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