German development policy

Preventing violence and protecting against discrimination

Lessons for girls in a protective zone for children and families for Syrian refugees in Hashemi al-Shimali in Jordan

Every child has the right to be protected against violence; this right has been laid down in Article 19 of the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. Around the world this right is extensively abused: more than two in every three children are the victims of various forms of violence. SDG 16.2 of the 2030 Agenda commits all nations to end abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children by 2030.

Preventing youth violence

In many developing countries young people make up the majority of the population, yet their living conditions are often those characteristic of social marginalisation. Considerable violations of their rights and high levels of violent crime are part of their everyday lives, with children and young people being both the perpetrators and the victims of violence.

In many cases, poverty, lack of opportunities, extreme social inequality, high levels of youth unemployment, lack of recognition and low political participation are at the root of violent behaviour. Germany is involved in efforts for the prevention of violence in various sectors, for example education, employment promotion, urban development, security and youth social work.

Projects for preventing youth violence in urban areas are a particular focus. The main focus of these efforts is on the positive potential of youths to themselves overcome cultures of violence and prevent fresh outbreaks of violence. Important points of contact for the development policy programmes are, in addition, people who exercise considerable influence on young people, in other words: parents, teachers and social workers, but also police officers, for example.

Violence against girls

Young girls in northeastern Kenya may end up undergoing female genital mutilation.

With SDG 5.2 of the 2030 Agenda the international community has committed itself to eliminating all forms of violence against women and girls in the public and private spheres, including trafficking and sexual and other types of exploitation. In addition, all harmful practices such as child, early and forced marriage and female genital mutilation are to be eliminated (SDG 5.3).

The BMZ supports programmes in its partner countries that are designed with the aim of protecting children – particularly girls – from violence, sexual exploitation and harmful traditional practices. In the BMZ action plan on children and youth rights and in the Ministry’s 'Gender Action Plan 2016-2020' (GAP II), addressing and preventing violence towards girls and women has been laid down as a key concern of German development cooperation.

Further related information can be found here.


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