Germany criticized for migration issues

7th February 2009, Comments 0 comments

The UN rights review council criticized Germany over racism and immigration related matters.

Geneva -- Germany has a strong regard for human rights but is still in the process of tackling some open issues, Germany said this past week in front of the United Nations' periodic country review.

Some of main issues identified at the hearing on Monday were racism and immigration related matters.

"Xenophobia and racism are serious concerns for us," Gernot Erler, the Deputy Foreign Minister of Germany, said before the Human Rights Council.

Since the introduction in 2007 of the UN's Universal Period Review program, set up the Human Rights Council, each country's rights record is supposed to be checked once every four years.

Berlin came under criticism for problems related to integration of immigrant children and the well-being of asylum seekers.

The German delegation to the review said steps were being taken to integrate immigrants and that schools would no longer report undocumented children, making it easier for them to receive education. These steps are reportedly costing hundreds of millions of euros.

About 18 per cent of Germany's population is a first- or second-generation immigrant.

The salary gap between men and women was also raised at the review, but Erler said this was mostly a private sector issue.

Additionally, human rights groups said Germany had been too complacent during the so-called "war on terror" and had let people pass through its territory en route to torture in other countries

Erler also said that by 2020, Germany planned to dedicate 0.7 percent of its GDP to foreign development aid, the target amount set by the UN for developed countries.


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