Who is responsible for what?

Attention: The employees in the accommodation centres are not responsible for your legal issues, e.g. asylum procedure. They cannot influence your asylum procedure's results or the amount of social assistance you receive- neither are they permitted to pass any information about you to the BAMF or other authorities.

What are my rights as a resident of such a centre?

You are entitled to live in a safe space. Women, adolescents and children, in particular, need to be protected from threats or violence. The accommodation centres must ensure that all their residents feel safe, have their privacy, and know where to get help. In July 2016, the Ministry of Family Affairs along with UNICEF and other organisations, such as Plan International Germany e.V. has developed a program to implement the minimum standards for the protection of children, adolescents and women in refugee accommodation centres and all the centres were required to comply. These standards require children, adolescents and women to be protected from violence and to be guaranteed access to medical and psychosocial care. Besides, in every centre, there should be specific room, in which the children and youth can play and learn together.

There are standards for placement in an accommodation centre. In general, you have no say in which room you will be accommodated, and the single individuals cannot choose who to share the room with. If you have any problems with your roommates, contact the social workers or the centre's director.

What can I do if my rights are violated?

There are always some accommodation centres that do not adhere to these rules and standards. Much has already been done to improve the situation in all the centres, but there are still shortcomings. If there are problems in your centre and your rights are disregarded, contact a counselling centre or the Refugee Council ("Fl├╝chtlingsrat) in your state. Here you will find a list of counselling centres in your federal state of residence.

In case you are being insulted, discriminated against, threatened or confronted with sexual or physical violence in your accommodation centre, please directly refer to the centre's administration or the social worker. If they do not help or are in fact part of the problem, then contact a counselling centre. On the website of the Anti-discrimination Office, you will find a list of counselling centres in your area. If you are a woman, you can also visit http://www.frauen-gegen-gewalt.de/and frauenhauskoordinierung.de to seek a counselling session in your language nearby. You can also call the Helpline at 08000-116016. The staff there are available day and night, and they speak many different languages.