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Sweden

Queen Silvia and Germany’s First Lady unite to fight abuse of children

Queen Silvia of Sweden had had a telephone meeting with the First Lady of Germany to discuss the opening of Germany’s third “Children’s Home”, set up to support and protect young people who have been subjected to sexual abuse. The initiative, started by Her Majesty the Queen of Sweden, offers children help from doctors, judges, psychologists and social services all in one place.

The Swedish Queen and Germany’s First Lady, Elke Büdenbender, have been involved in this work for a long time. They work together to provide German children with strong support when they need it. The Queen and Mrs. Büdenbender last year united to open the new “Childeren House” in the city of Heidelberg. Mrs. Büdenbender is a German judge, and, since 1995, the wife of Frank-Walter Steinmeier, the current President of Germany.

Queen Silvia on the phone with First Lady Mrs. Büdenbender. Photo: The Royal Court.

During the event in Heidelberg in 2019 Her Majesty the Queen said: “Children rely on us adults and are shaped by what we say or do near them. In an ideal world, a facility like the Childhood Home would not be necessary. Nevertheless, unfortunately the reality is different. When the terrible thing has happened and a child has experienced violence, it is important that they receive the best possible support.”

In Germany there are already “Children’s Home” facilities in Leipzig and Heidelberg, and in September of this year a brand new Children’s Home will be set up in Berlin. Another is expected to open in the autumn in the German city of Düsseldorf.

Queen Silvia on work for The World Childhood Foundation in Brazil. Photo: Wikimedia Commons.

In a Children’s Home, children who have been subjected to sexual abuse receive support and protection. A multi-professional team consisting of doctors, judges, psychologists, social services experts work together for the best interests of the children. All the Children’s Homes established in Germany have been opened with the support of the World Childhood Foundation which is governed by the Queen of Sweden.

The World Childhood Foundation was founded by Queen Silvia in 1999 in an effort to reach and support children at risk around the world. The Foundation’s focus is on protecting children from sexual abuse as well as supporting those who have already been abused, with a focus on girls and young mothers. The World Childhood Foundation currently supports over 115 programs in 17 countries.

About author

Senior Europe Correspondent Oskar Aanmoen has a master in military and political history of the Nordic countries. He has written five books on historical subjects and more than 700 articles for Royal Central. He has also interview both Serbian and Norwegian royals. Aanmoen is based in Oslo, Norway.