Political Positions of the Refugee Council

A. The European policy: admission, asylum and borders

We advocate

» a Europe that is aimed towards human rights, refugee protection and solidarity

» a humane border policy that is oriented towards humanitarian international law, safe escape routes and humanitarian admission programs

» a well equipped European sea rescue operation

We stand against

» the isolationist policy of the European Union that refuses refugees at its external borders

» the criminalization and harassment of voluntary sea rescue organizations in the Mediterranean

» agreements with authoritarian rulers, dictatorships or militias that are geared towards preventing asylum seekers from reaching Europe in the first place

» camps or asylum centers that detain refugees at or in front of the external borders of the EU

» shifting the responsibility of receiving refugees onto states at the external borders of the EU (e.g. Italy and Greece)

B. Admission and accomodation

We stand up for

» the quickest possible distribution of all refugees from the initial reception centers to the municipalities

» the immediate shutdown of all emergency and mass accomodations and other transitional solutions

» statutory accomodation standards and binding standards of safety and protection for particularly vulnerable groups (as long as mass accomodations are still in place)

» transparent mechanisms for monitoring and controlling operators of accomodations

» housing in own apartments, since (only) they facilitate integration and participation in social life

» the creation of independent, low-threshold complaints offices so that all parties can point to grievances and undesirable developments

C. Asylum procedure and right of residence

We demand

» the implementation of an own Ministry of Integration that the BAMF (Federal Office for Migration and Refugees) is subject to

» the elimination of the separation between interviewer and decision-maker in the asylum procedure

» the guarantee of a qualified, independent and free counseling of asylum seekers

» fair asylum procedures that prioritize quality over speed

» a right of residence for all refugees who have found the center of their lives in Germany

We oppose

» political influence of the Federal Ministry of the Interior on the decision policy of the BAMF

» deportations into war zones and crisis regions

» the isolation of refugees in deportation centers

» the division of people along the lines of the questionable construct of the „prospect of remaining in the country“

» a one-sided return counseling for refugees

» the existing Dublin system that denies refugees a fair asylum procedure in Germany often based on formal reasons

» the means of deportation detention

D. Social participation of refugees

We demand

» to safeguard the personal rights of refugees. The constitution applies to all people.

» to revoke the suspension of the right of family reunion for people that have subsidiary protection and ensure a quick issuing of visas by the German diplomatic missions abroad

» to guarantee the immigration of parents and siblings of minors

» the abolition of the Asylum Seekers‘ Benefits Law (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz) and equality with regard to social law for all people who live in Germany independent of their resident status

» to give up conditions of fixed abode and allow a free choice of residence

» to guarantee quick access to language and integration courses for all refugees

E. School, apprenticeship and labor market

We demand

» a free, equal access to educational support and employment promotion independent of country of origin and resident status

» the abolition of the employment ban and labor market examination

» the facilitated recognition of school-leaving qualifications and professional qualifications from the countries of origin

» the facilitation of school attendance up to the age of 25 and the free obtainment of school degrees via second chance education

» qualification offers for sustainable labor market integration for refugees instead of placement in unqualified work

» the development and implementation of specific concepts for the integration of women into apprenticeship and work

» the granting of a residence permit at the beginning of an apprenticeship

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