Human rights in Germany are protected according to the highest international and EU standards. Those “old” ones such as life, security, safety, property, movement, education, information, association, etc, are entrenched in society and political culture. They enjoy multiple protection against breaches (from early non-authoritarian upbringing, democratic education of the young and subsequent “Stiftung” network that facilitates democratic and civic education of adults, to constitutional, legal, judicial, political, media or other protection). Newly emerging challenges to individual human rights and freedom (such as dilemmas regarding security vs. privacy) are promptly dealt with by academics, media, legislators and courts. In some areas Germany has recently emerged as a
“conscience of the EU”, such as in its treatment of refugees. Not least that it opened the gates for the victims of wars or dictatorships, but it has put considerable efforts and resources into integration. However, there is also opposition to such openness. There were attacks on asylum seekers in several towns, and there is also (however in “Aesopian language”) hate speech against them. Another modern-day challenge – the equality and integration of the LGBT people into society – is dealt in Germany via “middle-of-the-road” solutions: same-sex partnerships are guaranteed many rights of the married couples, while marriage as such is still reserved for mixed-sex couples. The latter have some privileges (such as in adoption) that LGBT unions do not. The focus of attention by human rights` advocates, in case of Germany and of some other most advanced EU countries, shifts towards consistent international practicing of principles that are professed back home. Thus, Germany is sometimes criticized for selling arms to the regimes that systematically breach human rights, such as to Saudi Arabia. Similar scrutiny is dedicated to activities of German companies or banks abroad.