About one third of all refugees arriving in Germany are children and adolescents with special rights and special needs. Unaccompanied minor refugees are usually taken into the care of the youth welfare service. Young people and children who are accompanied by their parents or legal guardians are accommodated in ANKER facilities, although these are not designed for this purpose. All children and adolescents living in Germany, regardless of their residence status, are formally protected by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) in addition to the Basic Law and human rights. Refugee children in ANKER centres are de facto disadvantaged and their rights restrained. Minors are excluded from social participation in the shelters and exposed to a developmental and destabilizing environment.
There is a lack of rooms for playing or quiet sleeping and children often cannot be fed and cared for in a manner appropriate to their age, as the preparation of their own food is not permitted. Several families share a room that can’t be locked. Furthermore, the access to the regular education system is often denied to fugitive children. Child and youth welfare support services, to which all children in Germany are entitled, are rarely provided or even actively blocked in the ANKER centres.
Children need an environment that offers them security, stability and perspectives. They have the right to regular schooling, kindergarten and social participation. Accommodating children in ANKER centres poses a massive threat to the development opportunities of children. The rights of foreigner regulations should not be prioritised over the rights and interests of children!
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