Frankfurt Appeal

The children’s right of access to both parents



Frankfurt, October 19th, 2002


The first international PAS-conference held in Germany on October 18th and 19th 2002 in Frankfurt (on the Main) that dealt with this kind of harmful injustice inflicted upon children was attended by more than 300 experts in the field of science (psychology, medical sector), youth welfare, the judiciary as well as members of human rights organizations and affected persons from 14 countries. They all came together for an interdisciplinary exchange of ideas about ways to protect the affected children and to discuss the particular German problem in this respect.

Based on the suggestion and emphatic initiative of numerous foreign parents who are affected by such human rights violations, and who represent in this respect the 'tip of the iceberg' of all the victims of the German in-justice in the family law, the signatory participants of the conference support the following "Frankfurt Appeal":


  1. As convincingly confirmed by the participating scientists and through relevant decisions of the 'Bundesverfassungsgericht' (Federal Constitutional Court) and the European Court of Human Rights, the period of time with respect to the interruption of contact between a child and his/her separately living parent is decisive for the extent of alienation from this parent and the thereby induced damage in view of the best interest of the child and the violation of human rights.
  2. The access of a child to his/her both parents has therefore to be enforced and protected against any resistance of persons who disregard this human right; it has to be enforced within a maximum lapse of time of 1 month after the authorities’ notice of the access disturbance. If necessary, direct force has to be used against persons who are obliged to grant the child’s access to the other parent. Required examinations of authorities and family courts must not lead to an interruption of contact between the child and his/her parents.

  3. In the so-called 'civilized world', separation of parents as well as divorce have become 'standard cases' of a family. But this standard case of a family reorganization alone must not legitimate the state to interfere into the human rights of the affected family members by just granting (as a pretext) a legal claim as in section 1671 clause 1 BGB (German Civil Code) to those family members, who are highly emotionally burdened by their family reorganization, which allows them to demand a restriction of the constitutional rights with respect to the corresponding conflict partner in this family context.
  4. This is why the German legislation is called upon to remove the legal claim (i.e. the right of application) in section 1671 clause 1 BGB (German Civil Code), which also contributes to the PAS problem and which is not in harmony with the international law (article 8 in liaison with article 17 EHRC), since the current legal provisions stimulate and motivate PAS-inducing parents to act in a way that is harming the child. Based on the same legal provisions, the 'public guardian' receives a pretext out of article 6 section 2 of the German constitution (family courts, youth welfare offices) to intervene into families without the necessity for a removal of human rights being given - or yet by provoking such an intervention by means of intentionally harming the best interest of the child by a parent willing to alienate his/her child from the other parent. Other required restrictions with respect to custody are still possible under the sole preconditions of sections 1666, 1666a BGB (German Civil Code).

  5. Based on the observance of the European Human Rights Convention and its interpretation by the European Court on Human Rights (cases Marckx vs. Belgium, Keegan vs. Ireland, Sommerfeld vs. Germany, etc.), any person to whom the child had developed positive bonds and relationships shall be granted the human right of access to a child without any particular justification. The refusal of such a right of access requires a proof of necessity in accordance with section 1666 BGB (German Civil Code) and the axiom of adequacy. Section 1685 BGB (German Civil Code) has to be modified in this sense.
  6. In order to prevent partiality, abuse of law and perversion of justice in such cases, the German legislation is called upon to allow access of neutral public experts (no experts who are involved in the case) to all family court proceedings dealing with access or custody cases in order to provide control over the court proceedings to the people in whose name the court decisions are executed.
  7. We appeal to the German legislation to finally remove this kind of German legal practice that some non-German politicians, non-German media and non-German affected parents - in our opinion rightly - called the 'monkey law' or the 'jungle law' - a situation, which is indeed unworthy of a civilized constitutional state !