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State Secretary Schmachtenberg welcomes Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Mijatović

A focus on preventing poverty

BMAS/S. Tirok

State Secretary Dr Rolf Schmachtenberg and Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights, Dunja Mijatović

State Secretary Dr Rolf Schmachtenberg welcomed Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights Mijatović to the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs on 1 December. Their talks centred on access to social rights in Germany, particularly with regard to poverty prevention.

Germany's so-called Citizen's Benefit was a particularly important point of departure for the talks, which took place in an atmosphere of mutual respect and were characterised by in-depth knowledge of the issues. State Secretary Dr Schmachtenberg outlined the current state of the political debate in Germany, the mechanism for calculating the standard needs to be covered by the Citizen's Benefit and the constitutional framework.

The Commissioner for Human Rights was also interested in the implementation of and compliance with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD) and the amendment of the Act on Equal Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities.

State Secretary Dr Schmachtenberg made the following statement: Preventing people with disabilities from being put at a disadvantage is a major concern of both the Federation and Länder. The Federation and Länder, with the involvement of civil society actors, have developed and published action plans with concrete measures to implement the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.

State Secretary Dr Schmachtenberg also elaborated on the plans to bolster the position of the Commissioner for Matters relating to Persons with Disabilities. The talks also touched the topic of ensuring accessibility in living conditions and also work for people with disabilities in the regular labour market and in sheltered workshops.

In March 2024, the Commissioner for Human Rights will publish a report on Germany, drawing on her findings from various meetings with representatives of the Federal Government, such as the Federal Ministry of Labour and Social Affairs, and non-governmental organisations.