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Foreign Policy

International human rights policy tools

Germany is creating its own tools and supporting international institutions with the aim of protecting and defending human rights worldwide.
Instrumente der internationalen Menschenrechtspolitik
© dpa

The Federal Government Federal Government The Federal Government and cabinet is made up of the Federal Chancellor and the Federal Ministers. While the Chancellor holds the power to issue directives, the ministers have departmental powers, meaning that they independently run their respective ministries in the framework of those directives… Read more › Commissioner for Human Rights Human rights The respect and strengthening of human rights worldwide are a cornerstone of German Federal Government policy. Together with its EU partners it is committed to protecting and continually advancing human rights standards throughout the world. This occurs in close collaboration with the institutions… Read more › Policy and Humanitarian Aid, Bärbel Kofler, is based in the Federal Foreign Office. She observes international developments, coordinates human rights Human rights The respect and strengthening of human rights worldwide are a cornerstone of German Federal Government policy. Together with its EU partners it is committed to protecting and continually advancing human rights standards throughout the world. This occurs in close collaboration with the institutions… Read more › activities with other state bodies, and advises the Federal Foreign Minister.

The German parliament, the Bundestag The Bundestag The Bundestag is the elected representation of the German people. Technically speaking half the 598 seats in the Bundestag are allocated by means of the parties’ state lists (the second vote) and the other half by the direct election of candidates in the 299 constituencies (the first vote). This… Read more › , has accompanied and monitored German human rights policy since 1998 through its Committee for Human Rights and Humanitarian Aid. The committee members comprise 17 delegates from all parties and its tools include public hearings, official “declarations by the committee” and the programme known as “Parlamentarier schützen Parlamentarier” (“MPs protect MPs”), which establishes direct patronage of persecuted democrats in other countries. The committee informs members of parliament about the situation in host countries before they travel and gives them notes on which people need help there.

In 2000, the German Institute for Human Rights, a state-funded but independent body, was established in Berlin Berlin Once a year, during the Berlinale film festival, the world of the silver screen focuses its attention on Berlin. And the city’s inhabitants are used to global interest. After all, the people of Berlin have lived in a capital city since 1458. However, there is also a shady side to the city’s history… Read more › . As a national human rights institution as defined in the UN’s Paris Principles, it is intended to help the promotion and protection of human rights by Germany at home and abroad.

Germany supports international courts

The European Court of Human Rights Human rights The respect and strengthening of human rights worldwide are a cornerstone of German Federal Government policy. Together with its EU partners it is committed to protecting and continually advancing human rights standards throughout the world. This occurs in close collaboration with the institutions… Read more › (ECtHR) in Strasbourg, France is one of the European Council European Council The European Council determines the political guidelines of the EU. Chaired by the President it assembles at least twice a year and is made up of the heads of state and government as well as the President of the Commission and the High Representative of the Union for Foreign and Security Policy. Read more › ’s main institutions for enforcing human rights Human rights The respect and strengthening of human rights worldwide are a cornerstone of German Federal Government policy. Together with its EU partners it is committed to protecting and continually advancing human rights standards throughout the world. This occurs in close collaboration with the institutions… Read more › in Europe. Each and every citizen of the 47 member states of the European Council can resort directly to the ECtHR with complaints concerning a violation of rights protected by the European Human Rights Convention.

Germany emphatically advocates that all member states of the European Council accept and implement the decisions of the ECtHR. The International Criminal Court (ICC) in The Hague, the Netherlands, is responsible for the prosecution under international criminal law of serious international crimes such as war crimes, crimes against humanity, and genocide. Germany is in favour of universal recognition of the ECtHR.