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Survey about youth participation in Germany

[ Check the survey about youth participation in Germany ]

Statistics on young people

Number and Percentage of young people in global population: 16 086 225 (19.57%)

Actors and Structures

Public authorities - National public authorities

Ministry in charge of youth: Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend,

Main tasks of the Youth department: The Youth department is in charge of federal laws concerning youth, for example: Social Code, Volume Eight (SGB VIII) Child and Youth Services and the Protection of Young People Act. It represents the interests of children and youth in all areas of policy, mainly in the areas of education, health and labour market as a cross-sectional task maintaining close contact to other ministries, the federal states (Länder) and municipalities as well as to organisations of public youth services. The department supports and promotes supraregional and federal non-statutory organisations in the field of child and youth services in their wide variety of value orientations, contents, methods and forms of work. It takes part in the further development and implementation of European youth programmes and asks independent experts to inform about the situation of young people in Germany and supports respective research projects.

Youth councils

German Federal Youth Council (Deutscher Bundesjugendring)

The National Youth Council is the German Federal Youth Council (Deutscher Bundesjugendring, DBJR, Its current membership ( includes 24 youth organisations, 16 regional youth councils and 5 affiliated organisations. The 5 affiliated organisations have an advisory vote. Role and objectives: to publicly represent youth interests and common aims of the member organisations, particularly to parliament and government; to ensure an ongoing information flow between member organisations and to enable them to achieve common positions on youth policy; to cooperate with youth organisations outside Germany, particularly in the area of international youth policy.

National Programmes on youth

Child and youth policy in Germany is characterised by a diversity of levels and responsibilities. In line with Germany’s federal structure, child and youth policy is not only a matter for the Federal Government but also for the Länder, municipal authorities and voluntary child and youth service organisations. The Federal Government understands child any youth policy as a general responsibility of society. In this context, the Federal Government defines its child and youth policy as:

  • a governmental policy anchored in the Federal Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (Bundesministerium für Familie, Senioren, Frauen und Jugend, BMFSFJ, The Ministry is responsible for central programmes of the Federal Government’s youth policy and important youth policy interfaces with other policy areas.
  • a cross-sectional responsibility across all Federal Ministries whose policies have a direct or indirect impact on the different situations in a young person’s life. These include education, labour market, social, health, justice, interior, regional and urban policies.
  • an enabling child and youth policy. Based on the overall objectives of child and youth policy, the Federal Government has definedthree central action points for its current agenda:
       - Improving the integration of young people in society and at work,
       - Strengthening civil society – promoting options for involvement and individual initiative,
       - Enhancing legal protection of children and young people.

Action plans i.e. official strategies

National Action Plan “For a child-friendly Germany 2005-2010”. Main topics:

  • Equal chances through education,
  • Growing up without violence,
  • Promotion of healthy life styles and environmental conditions,
  • Participation of children and youth,
  • Development of adequate life standards for all children,
  • Observance of international agreements

(Source: Youth Partnership – Council of Europe, European Commission)