Democracy and Human Rights: Principles of our Coexistence

You are seeking protection as refugee in Germany. Our country guarantees asylum from political persecution and shelter from war and civil war.

This shelter is part of our democratic constitutional order. This order includes encompassing fundamental and human rights that constitute the foundation of our society. The rights of people in Germany are guaranteed in the German Constitution of 1949, in the United Nations’ Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 1948 and in the European Union’s Charta of Fundamental Rights of 2000. The rights of children are protected by the United Nations’ Convention on the Right of the Child of 1989.

  • Germany is a democratic republic. Head of state, parliament as well as government are elected democratically, the same is true for the parliaments and governments of the 16 Federal States and the self-governments of the cities and municipalities. All elections are conducted by secret ballot.
  • Every person has the right to express his or her opinion, to assemble and to demonstrate for his or her opinion. All persons have the right to form democratic parties, unions and other associations.
  • Many people in Germany commit themselves to cultural, social or sporting interests in associations or initiatives that take over many duties for the community.
  • All persons are equal before the law. Government and authorities are bound to the Constitution and to the laws. Those whose rights are infringed, may defend themselves by complaint or in court and are not to be disadvantaged. Those who try to bribe a civil servant have to face punishment.
  • Men and women have equal rights. That extends to the decision on one’s lifestyle, the right to labor and free choice of profession as well as disposition of one’s income. In Germany women pursue all careers, even leading positions.
  • Children have the right to non-violent parenting, to early childhood and formal education. Fathers and mothers are equal regarding their children’s education. Parents can have a determining influence in day care centers and at schools in terms of parental representations.
  • All persons have the right to respectful interaction. Use of physical violence is prohibited.
  • Every person has the right to freely practice his or her religion. Most people in Germany are Protestants or Catholics and most of the holidays and many customs in Germany originate in Christianity. German culture is moreover crucially shaped by Jews. Nowadays, also many Muslims are living in Germany. Besides, there is a range of other faith communities and many people without religious affiliation. No person shall be discriminated against because of his or her faith or ideology. Freedom of expression includes as well the right to criticize religions and religious communities.
  • No person shall be discriminated against because of his or her origin, skin color, sex, sexual orientation, age or disability. Homosexuals do not have to hide in Germany and may recognize their long-term relationship like marriages by the state.

These fundamental rights also constitute the basis for respectful and tolerant interaction.

  • The analysis of the German felonies at the time of National Socialism (1933 – 1945) is very important in Germany. Racism and anti-Semitism are socially proscribed. Denying the Holocaust is a crime.
  • Democracy thrives if people participate and commit themselves
    to their interests. This possibility is basically open to refugees. Associations, in particular, are delighted if you show interest.

    Many immigrants founded self-organizations that make a significant contribution to peaceful cooperation and solidarity in Germany.