Basic security for refugees: a two-tiered law? | – News

Status: 20.06.2022 2:05 PM

War refugees from Ukraine are entitled to assistance from the Employment Center from the beginning of the month. The private situation is met with criticism. The Refugee Council demands equal rights for all refugees.

by Christina Harland

Sandra Lock of the Hannover Region Employment Office tries it in English and, if necessary, with hands and feet. Translator is required elsewhere at this time. With two of her colleagues from Garbsen, a group of female refugees, including a few men, reported that they are now clients of the employment centre. The accommodation, a hotel at the Garbsen motorway service station, is one of the most unusual facilities to visit these days. She has been on the road for weeks explaining the German bureaucracy to Ukrainian war refugees: “The group information is important for us to reach the refugees. They know what services the job center provides? For example, if you had a doctor’s visit, you had to keep going to social services and getting Health insurance certificate, and it is important that they know now that we have health insurance for them.”

video: A Ukrainian family torn apart: a visit from home (06/11/2022) (4 minutes)

complex bureaucracy

Yelyzaveta Hutsol from Odessa clicks on a document in her thick Documents folder. She had to line up again and again to get such sickness certificates at the Social Welfare Office. A 24-year-old shipbuilding engineer from Odessa does not understand the German bureaucracy: “It is very stressful, I have been here for three months and I am waiting for documents. It is very complicated.”

Better support for Action Center customers

In the future, she will have health insurance through the employment center. You get a basic guarantee like a Hartz IV recipient, i.e. money for food, clothing, and rent. She can look for work with the help of an employment center and take integration courses. Sandra Locke promised the women: “Now you get all the help from one source, and you have someone in constant contact.”

Basic Security was a compromise between the federal and state governments

At the beginning of April, the federal and state governments agreed that refugees from Ukraine should have quick access to the labor market. They are now treated like recognized refugees, but without asylum procedures. Federal, state, and local governments share costs using a complex apportionment process. The federal government pays the lion’s share. Lower Saxony Prime Minister Stefan Weil (Social Democratic Party) hailed the agreement as a fair compromise.

First and second class refugees?

Kai Weber of the Refugee Council in Lower Saxony is amazed at what is possible when the political will is there. In a very short time, it was possible to take legal and administrative measures to provide thousands of victims of war and persecution with security of residence, housing, job offers and social benefits in a non-bureaucratic way. However, he criticizes the fact that Ukrainian refugees, unlike other refugees, can quickly switch from the Asylum Seeker Benefits Act to basic security as a two-tiered right: “We ask ourselves why the measures taken are not also applied to other people seeking protection for those fleeing war and persecution In Germany. So we are calling on the federal and state governments to reorient refugee policy,” says Weber. The policy of welcome practiced when dealing with Ukrainian refugees should be a blueprint for fundamentally redesigning asylum and refugee policy.

Provinces concerned about housing for refugees

The regions of Lower Saxony are also very critical. Goodwill is not done well, they criticize. Joachim Schwindt, Director General of the District Council: “In fact, the regime change was too early and was not the right move. The main problem is the issue of accommodation. As a client of the duty station, I have to look for my place of residence, which not even many Ukrainians can do this respect we could have made all together, and the towns, counties, and municipalities of Lower Saxony, may have found it better that the former regime should continue in Lower Saxony for a few months after the Act of Admission.”

More information

Helpers from the Hanover Fire Brigade assemble children's beds in Exhibition Hall 26 of the Hanover Exhibition Center.  © picture-allaince / dpa Photo: Julian Stratenshult

Two halls with nearly 2,000 beds were cleared. Part of it will be moved to another, slightly smaller hall. (05/27/2022) more

Cities and municipalities overwhelmed by the new regulation

As long as refugees were subject to the Asylum Seeker Benefits Act, the provinces were responsible for providing collective housing. Cities and municipalities must now provide accommodation to prevent refugees who do not yet have a home from becoming homeless. Schwindt says many communities simply don’t have the number of accommodations needed now and aren’t designed for families. Presumably, although there is no official responsibility, their accommodations will continue to be used out of necessity, so that people don’t end up on the streets.

Bundesdruckerei paper shortage threatens to pay money

As if that weren’t enough, Schwindt criticizes, the federal government is currently unnecessarily putting the rapid settlement of claims at risk. The reason, of all things, is the lack of paper at the Federal Printing Office. This includes printing out the temporary residence permit, the so-called bogus certificate. In order for newly arrived Ukrainians to become customers of the Job Center, they must provide them. Schwindt explains: “The problem is that since June 1, you can only issue it on a form from the Bundesdruckerei. Previously, we were also allowed to do it ourselves. The federal government has explicitly banned it, now there is a supply bottleneck there.”

Waiting is exhausting

For most people in the accommodation on the A2 in Garbsen, the wait continues. A state of forgetfulness is hard to bear. 20-year-old Jennifer Kuzmenko from Charkiv started her life as a law student when war ruined everything for her. She is now sitting with her mother in the guest room at the rest of the station and says, “We don’t have any plans. Everything has changed, and I don’t know what to do. First, I’m looking for a place where we can stay, then a job and, above all, someone I can talk to.” “.

Lots of expectations and great hopes

Sandra Locke and her colleagues still had many questions to answer that day. An interpreter is required, and Google Translator is a great help. Women’s expectations of the duty station are high and so are the hopes. Locke is spreading optimism. “We are well-equipped in terms of personnel, we have mastered the spread of the epidemic, we have experience from the 2015/2016 refugee movement that we benefit from, so we will have a good organization, and of course it is great for the refugees to see the services from a to have at hand: employment and also benefits cash”.

It is at least about a future for people who do not see a future in their homeland at the moment.

More information

Maria Ossowski © picture alliance / dpa Photo: Soeren Stache

How do refugees who had to leave their homeland because of the Ukraine war feel? Article by Maria Osovsky. (05/21/2022) more

A teenager from Ukraine writes vocabulary in an exercise book next to a small school bag.  © picture alliance / dpa / dpa-Zentralbild Photo: Waltraud Grubitzsch

According to the School Management Association, the desire to help is great. But more staff and money will be needed. (05/13/2022) more

This topic is in the program:

NDR 1 Lower Saxony | Regional Hanover | 06/17/2022 | 3 o’clock

NDR . logo

Leave a Comment