Everyone should be familiar with civil rights – together with human rights, they form the basic rights of the Federal Republic of Germany and are therefore defined in the Basic Law. But what very few people are aware of: Where […]
Everyone should be familiar with civil rights – together with human rights, they form the basic rights of the Federal Republic of Germany and are therefore defined in the Basic Law. But what very few people are aware of: Where there are rights, there are also obligations. Read here what exactly the civic duties regulate for you as a citizen in Germany.
Civil rights in the Basic Law
Since Germany is a democracy, the citizens of our state have many rights. For example, the Basic Law states that every citizen has the right to vote in order to have a say in his or her future. In addition, citizens are allowed to exercise their right to freedom by resisting oppression; the state may not interfere with freedom of assembly if there is no proven criminal offense. In addition to the numerous rights, there are also certain obligations for citizens.
In contrast to the rights of the citizen, the duties are not laid down in the Basic Law. They can be found in various codes of law such as the Criminal Code and the Civil Code.
Duty to help in emergency situations
Most people take it for granted that they should come to the aid of others in an emergency. But when an emergency occurs, for example in the event of an accident, many people are afraid of doing something wrong and do not dare to provide first aid. In this situation you should not look the other way, because you are obliged to help in an emergency.
Failure to comply with this obligation is deemed to be failure to provide assistance and can be punished with a fine or even imprisonment. However, the law also states that you do not have to put yourself in danger. Providing help can also mean notifying the police, fire brigade or emergency doctor in a dangerous situation.
Identity card: to take with you or not?
Every German citizen must be able to identify himself from the age of 16. This obligation is laid down in Section 1 of the Identity Card Act and states that you must have an identity card and can present it to a person authorized to check it if requested.
The law does not stipulate that you must always have your ID with you. However, this is still useful in situations in which law enforcement officers have to determine your identity. If you cannot identify yourself, according to the DAS legal protection insurance, the police can bring you to the office and hold you there until you can identify yourself. This can be the case, for example, during a demonstration.
Further exceptions, in which identification is required, are, for example, work in an industry in which undeclared work often occurs. Section 2 of the Act to Combat Undeclared Work stipulates that identification must be provided during working hours.
Are you allowed to keep what you have found?
Things get lost faster in places where many people meet. In the hustle and bustle of city centers, public transport and train stations, your wallet or cell phone can quickly fall out of your pocket. If you find an item, you are obliged to report the find to the owner.
If this cannot be identified, you must report the find from a value of 10 euros to the responsible municipality or the police. If you do not do that, you are guilty of embezzlement according to §965 – §984 of the Civil Code.