Council of Europe conventions
Beyond the federal government's international commitments to the regulatory framework of the European Union, Germany is also party to a slew of international agreements and treaties with varying binding characters. These range from global to European to bilateral in scope.
Under German law, international treaties requiring the consent/participation of the federal law-making institutions pursuant to sentence 1 of Article 59 (2) of the Basic Law (Grundgesetz/GG) have the status of statute not requiring assent.
Most laws enacted by international organisations cannot be applied directly within Germany. However, the member states of the respective international organisations are obliged to transpose any obligations arising from such legislation into national law.
With the Universal Declaration of Human Rights along with 10 further human rights treaties, the United Nations has established a catalogue of human rights instruments that are binding on all UN member states as a matter of international law. Some of these treaties are supplemented by optional protocols, which are often used to introduce procedures for individual complaints.
Of particular relevance for children, adolescents and families are, e.g.:
The Council of Europe is pioneering the creation of a binding pan-European regulatory framework for the protection of human rights, the rule of law and democracy. To date, it has issued over 200 conventions and protocols. These include fundamental legal instruments, such as the European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms, the Convention against Torture, and the European Social Charter.
In addition to these, of particular relevance for children, adolescents and families are, e.g.:
The Hague Conference has had a strong hand in shaping international cooperation on child and family matters with a number of leading global conventions. Germany is party to the following:
Agreements on the establishment and maintenance of youth offices have been concluded with France, Poland and Greece. With the Czech Republic, Israel and Russia, Germany has concluded corresponding declarations of intent and/or agreements for the implementation of bilateral youth exchanges, which are organised with the support of coordinating offices.
In 2018, Germany and its Israeli partner agreed to establish a German-Israeli Youth Office, which is currently being planned.