Why we demonstrate again on march 8th in Potsdam

On March 8th 2011 we met with Mr. Baaske, the Minister for social affairs in Brandenburg and discussed our problems with him. We stated clearly: No Lager for Women! Close all Lager!

The Minister appeared to be concerned and said that he supported our demands to accommodate refugees in flats. At the least he promised to improve the living conditions in collective accommodations – especially for women.

Let us see what happened since then:

In summer 2011 the ministry sent a circular letter to the authorities of the districts which stated the obvious: Our privacy has to be respected by the staff of the Heims. They have to knock at our doors before they enter our rooms. We are grateful for that, because it informed the staffs of the accommodations about one of our basics rights and it changed their behavior. Nevertheless it is a scandal that for this change they needed a directive from higher authorities.

On April 14th 2011 the parliament of Brandenburg adopted a resolution to improve living conditions of refugees in Brandenburg. Thereby the government was requested to review the minimum standards for accommodation and social assistance and implement changes, where needed. The Ministry formed a working group to discuss with non-governmental experts and respective representatives of the authorities.

In January 2012 a government report about the outcome of the working group has been published. It includes advices on changes of the minimum standards for collective accommodations and the social assistance‘. To our biggest dissapointment the suggested changes were very small and not sufficient to actually improve the living conditions of women and children in the collective accommodations.

On March 8th 2012 we addressed this urgent issue again in details in an Open Letter to Mr. Baaske, still hoping, that he had a real interest to improve our situation.

We, the women in the collective accommodations struggle for something which we can not have in collective accommodations: A home and a safe place for us and our children, which is a safe space for us and our children. The report of the government made it even more obvious: It is impossible to improve the living conditions in the “Heims” in a way that they become acceptable accommodations in which our privacy is protected. Therefore, we still demanded ‚women out of the camps!‘

The report ot the government was discussed in the parliament and didn‘t pass it’s expectations. As a result the parliament adopted a new resolution on June 7th to improve the living conditions of refugees in Brandenburg and requested the government to develop a concept „which should aim to accomodate refugees in flats on the long run.“ This concept for accomodation is expected to be reported to the parliament by the end of march.

So: Are we any closer to promised improvements today? Mr. Baaske’s assurances fail to pass the reality-check: Lager are totally overcrowded and new ones are being opened. To our utter frustration the Minimum standards were not improved at all – instead they were renewed until the end of 2012 and then again for another year until the end of 2013.

These standards had already been inadequate in times when the collective accomodations were barely filled, Now that the Lager are filled to maximum capacity the housing situation is catastrophic and the cramped conditions lead to high pressure and tension between the inhabitants. And still, new Lager are being built according to the same guidelines.

This development stands in sharp contrast to the political declarations of will that have been stated repeatedly since April 2011.

We wonder how this can happen in a functioning democracy? Is it not the job of of the ministry to implement the decissions of the parliament?

We therefore demonstrate in front of the Ministry, to ask Mr. Baaske and his staff: How much more must we take, how long does ist take for you to keep your promisses? —

1 Antwort auf „Why we demonstrate again on march 8th in Potsdam“

  1. 1 Women in Exile fordern am 8.März erneut: Frauen raus aus den Lagern! Alle Lager abschaffen! « Flüchtlingsrat Brandenburg Pingback am 21. Februar 2013 um 22:45 Uhr
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