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Noisy children no longer verboten in Berlin

German children playing in the snow
Germany has strict laws to ensure children are seen but not heard

Children in the German capital Berlin are to be exempt from strict laws on noise pollution.

An amendment to the city's law now makes it "fundamentally and socially tolerable" for members of the younger generation to make a racket.

Berlin has become the first of Germany's 16 federal states to adopt such legislation.

But all Berliners - children included - must continue to respect the official quiet time at night and all day Sunday.

Until now, only church bells, emergency sirens, snow ploughs and tractors have fallen outside the stringent rules on excessive noise in Germany.

We have to consider the rights of children to shout while they are growing up
Axel Strohbusch
Department of Noise Protection

In Berlin alone, hundreds of complaints are made each year about noise levels in kindergartens and children's playgrounds.

Some day-care facilities have even been forced to close after local residents have gone to court in search of a quiet life.

Now Berlin's local government, the senate, has passed a law giving children the right to be noisy, the first law of its kind in Germany.

Axel Strohbusch, from Berlin's Department of Noise Protection, said it was "the first time we have it written in law that we have to consider the rights of children to shout and make noise while they are growing up and this must be considered by all the neighbours".

Germany's organisation for child protection told AFP news agency it welcomed the move, saying: "We live in a city and children should be allowed to play and make noise."



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