Controversy in Germany over child bait

14th October 2007, Comments 0 comments

14 October 2007, Berlin (dpa) - Controversy erupted in Germany Saturday over the use of underage youngsters to trap alcohol and tobacco outlets that sell goods illicitly to children. Family Minister Ursula von der Leyen insisted that the decoy purchasers had to be at least 14 years old, after the German child protection association rejected the use of children in this role. The controversy erupted after it became known the cabinet would consider draft legislation on the use of decoys to track down illicit

14 October 2007

Berlin (dpa) - Controversy erupted in Germany Saturday over the use of underage youngsters to trap alcohol and tobacco outlets that sell goods illicitly to children.

Family Minister Ursula von der Leyen insisted that the decoy purchasers had to be at least 14 years old, after the German child protection association rejected the use of children in this role.

The controversy erupted after it became known the cabinet would consider draft legislation on the use of decoys to track down illicit sales of alcohol, tobacco and violent videos to underage persons when it meets on Wednesday.

Von der Leyen noted that sales outlets selling hard liquor or violent videos to 16-year-olds faced fines of up to 50,000 euros (70,000 dollars).

"I want all traders to ask all young purchasers for identification and to establish that it really is an adult that is standing in front of them before products constituting a danger to young people are shoved over the counter," Von der Leyen said.

The minister said the government aimed to crack down severely on offenders.

But Child Protection Association head Paula Honkanen-Schoberth said: "We are completely against this. We also find the idea suspect from a judicial point of view if children are to be used as undercover investigators inducing others to commit crimes."

DPA

Subject: German news

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