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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century                                           

Federal Republic of Germany

The German economy - the fifth largest economy in the world in PPP terms and Europe's largest - began to contract in the second quarter of 2008 as the strong euro, high oil prices, tighter credit markets, and slowing growth abroad took their toll on Germany's export-dependent economy.

Germany's aging population, combined with high chronic unemployment, has pushed social security outlays to a level exceeding contributions,

The modernization and integration of the eastern German economy - where unemployment still exceeds 30% in some municipalities - continues to be a costly long-term process, with annual transfers from west to east amounting to roughly $80 billion.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]

Description: Description: Germany

CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Germany.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated or even false.  No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street.  Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public … and how they abuse each other.  Would you like to write about market children? homeless children?  Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc.  There is a lot to the subject of Street Children.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.


Growing number of street children in Germany, report says

Deutsche Presse-Agentur (German Press Agency) DPA, Berlin, 11 Mar 2008

[accessed 19 September 2011]

[accessed 3 December 2016]

Up to 20,000 children and juveniles are living on the streets of Germany, one of Europe's wealthiest countries, the children's relief group Terre des Hommes said Tuesday. Domestic violence, neglect or parental drug abuse are some of the reasons that lead to children running away and becoming homeless, according to a report prepared for the organization.  The report's author, writer Uwe Britten, warned that street children were in danger of becoming outcasts in society and later passing on this status to their own children.  The study showed that not all those covered in the survey lived on the streets permanently. Some used this option as an escape when things at home become intolerable.  Many suffered from illness and had little prospect of obtaining regular employment, the study showed. About half received some form of help from relief projects.


*** ARCHIVES ***

Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 9 February 2020]

CHILDREN - Although there were no reports of abuse of street children, the life of these children often involved violence and abuse. Often these children were fleeing violent and abusive homes. Street children frequently turned to prostitution for income.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 30 January 2004

[accessed 28 February 2011]

[58] While noting the efforts undertaken in this regard, the Committee expresses its concerns at the increasing number of street children in the State party, as well as the high percentage of foreign children among them.

A capital that can’t grow up

Anne-Laure Murier,, 29/08/2007

[accessed 23 September 2011]

[accessed 3 December 2016]

Last May, the German daily newspaper Tagesspeigel warned that in Berlin one child in three lives off 'Hartz IV' (government aid). This is a new high for Germany and is more than twice the national average. Is it an avatar of reunification?

60% TO 70% OF THE EAST - Individuals in the field and NGOs continue to criticise this situation. 'We are counting more and more children on the streets,' warns the person in charge of the Strassenkinder or 'Street children' association. They run away for economic reasons, but also because they are abused, beaten, mistreated or they are simply missing love and attention.

Although this problem is still much smaller than in other European capitals, 60 - 70% of Berlin’s street children come from the east, according to Eckard Bauman. As far as teacher Manfred Endom is concerned, there has been a degradation in the school system and he is worried about growing child poverty.

Street Children on the Rise in Germany, Aid Agency Warns

Deutsche Welle DW-WORLD.DE, 05 January 2007,2144,2301119,00.html

[accessed 16 May 2011]

Germany is one of the wealthiest countries in Europe. Yet thousands of children are living on the streets, according to the children's relief organization Terre des Hommes (TDH).  "We have observed this development in Germany for the past 10 years," TDH director Peter Mucke told the newspaper Neue Osnabrücker Zeitung on Thursday. "In this time, the number of street children has grown significantly."  Mucke quoted statistics by the German Ministry for Family Affairs, which estimates that there are up to 7,000 children living on the country's streets.

Street Careers In Germany Between Families, Youth Welfare Services And Prison [DOC]

Dr. Hanna Permien, German Youth Institute 2003

[accessed 16 May 2011]

ARE THERE STILL STREET CHILDREN IN GERMANY? - 'Street children in Germany' has been one of the favourite topics in the media in the nineties of the last century. They really exist, even though they ought not to exist at all. For in Germany, all minors who cannot or do not want to live in their families have the right to be looked after by youth welfare services – and these services are obliged to look after these youngsters. This is granted by the German Child and Youth Service Act.

Nevertheless, there have always been children and juveniles who withdraw from the institutions of socialisation, namely family and school, or from community homes and focus their lives on the streets. But since the beginning of the nineties, their number seems to have increased and they seem to have become more endangered by alcohol, drugs, prostitution, criminality and permanent homelessness.

Perspectives [PDF]

Off Road Kids, Countrywide Street Social Work, Berlin, Dortmund, Hamburg, Cologne

[accessed 16 May 2011]

STREETKIDS IN GERMANY - Every year in Germany there are up to 2500 children and youths, from 12 years of age and upward, living on the street. They flee from negligence, ill-treatment and abuse, and live from begging, prostitution and petty theft. Street kids dream of a safe and secure place and don’t want to live forever on the street. Quite often they are inconspicious, young people - unremarkable in looks. They come from all classes and walks of society and are not only found among bright-haired punks. They would like to go to school or to start a professional training. Sensitivity is often an distinguishing trait. A lot of them are from rural backgrounds and hope to find happiness and luck by disappearing into the anonymous life of a big city.

Children ON the Street - Children OF the Street

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 16 May 2011]

In Germany there are about 7.000.  This shows that street children is not a problem exclusive to the third world

Homelessness in Germany - The visible form of true poverty

Andrea Bistrich, "Share International" [March 1999 issue]

[accessed 16 May 2011]

An analysis of how/why some 860,000 people are homeless in Germany, which like most nations, has no governmental structure to address this human rights problem.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Street Children - Germany",, [accessed <date>]