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Appell an die Landesregierung für Wohnungen statt Sammelunterkünfte für Geflüchtete

Brandenburger Organisationen rufen zu Paradigmenwechsel in der Flüchtlingspolitik auf

Potsdam, den 16. Mai 2022

Mit dem Aufruf „Vom Untergebracht-Werden zum Wohnen“ wendet sich heute ein Bündnis aus Vertreter*innen von Vereinen, Beratungsstellen, Initiativen, Selbstorganisationen, der Wissenschaft, der Kommunalpolitik und der Zivilgesellschaft an die Brandenburger Landesregierung. Die Unterzeichnenden fordern eine langfristige Abkehr vom Prinzip der Massenunterbringung von Menschen und ein Bekenntnis zur Wohnungsunterbringung. Auf sechs Seiten macht das Bündnis, zu dem auch der Flüchtlingsrat Brandenburg gehört, konkrete Vorschläge, wie Geflüchtete in Brandenburg schneller in eigene Wohnungen umziehen könnten.

Das Bündnis lehnt die systematische und langfristige Unterbringung von Geflüchteten in Sammelunterkünften ab. Massenunterkünfte verhindern gesellschaftliche Teilhabe und wirken sich desintegrierend aus – die gesellschaftlichen und sozialen Folgen dieser Politik sind seit langem verheerend. Sammelunterkünfte sind zudem gewaltfördernd und nicht erst seit der Corona-Pandemie gesundheitsgefährdend.

Vorschläge für konkrete Schritte auf dem Weg zur Wohnungsunterbringung als Regelunterbringung (vgl. Aufruf):

  • Schaffung eines Brandenburger Teilhabe- und Partizipationsgesetzes,
  • schnelle Verteilung aus der Erstaufnahme, unabhängig von “Bleibeprognosen”,
  • sofortige Wohnungsunterbringung besonders schutzbedürftiger Personen,
  • Umsetzung der im Koalitionsvertrag festgelegten Begrenzung der Aufenthaltsdauer von Familien in Gemeinschaftsunterkünften auf 12 Monate,
  • Spielraum bei der Umsetzung der Wohnsitzauflage nutzen,
  • Schließung von isoliert außerhalb von Städten und Dörfern gelegenen Unterkünften,
  • unangekündigte Kontrollen der Standards in Gemeinschaftsunterkünften,
  • Ermöglichung eigener Wohnungsanmietung.
Continue reading Appell an die Landesregierung für Wohnungen statt Sammelunterkünfte für Geflüchtete

Flight is not a crime! Let our sisters go! Demo against the detention of refugees in Lithuania on 24 March, 15:00, in front of the Lithuanian Embassy at Charitéstraße 9, 10117 Berlin

In summer 2021, many refugees fled across the eastern border into the European Union to Lithuania or Poland. In July 2021, the Lithuanian parliament passed a law authorising the six-month detention of refugees after entry. In December 2021, this detention period was extended to 12 months. In Lithuania, mainly African refugees have been imprisoned in the camps in Mavini, Medininkai, Linkmenys and Kybartai. They are victims of brutal state racism. Our sisters report that they were locked up in Mavini, handcuffed, beaten and tortured as if they had committed a crime. We appeal to human rights organisations, the Lithuanian embassy, social media and the international public to support us in these demands: Abolish this law! Support the release of all refugees from Lithuania’s camps! Stop the war against refugees! We want peace and justice! Flight is not a crime! Let our sisters go!

Women in Exile & Friends Demonstration in Rathenow “We fight for peace” on 8.3. 2022 from 12 – 15h at the Platz der Freiheit, 14712 Rathenow

In face of the war in Ukraine, European countries talk about humanitarian actions and on the other side divide humans and sort them in small boxes. It is disheartening and upsetting to see on social media refugees refused entry into trains and safe countries, because of their skin colour.

Madeleine Mawamba: “We will not go along with this division of people. Women in Exile and others are going to show solidarity to all fleeing wars. We demonstrate in Rathenow on the International Women day, because our black sisters have reported structural racism in Rathenows Registry office concerning the birth certificates. Women with children by German and African fathers long have to fight to get one. We demand the Registry office to work on their racism and hand out the birth certificates for these children!”

Women in Exile & Friends also demonstrates against the Lagersystem in the county of Havelland and all over. Women and children are abandoned by the racist system of the European Union, isolated in broken Heims and traumatised again and again. Everyday refugee women experience personal racism and sexism on the streets and structural racism in offices, registry offices, city halls, schools, in the housing market.

This is why Women in Exile & Friends demand participation, reproductive justice, safe living condition and respect for women’s rights.

Continue reading Women in Exile & Friends Demonstration in Rathenow “We fight for peace” on 8.3. 2022 from 12 – 15h at the Platz der Freiheit, 14712 Rathenow

Human Rights Day: Give back the Mobiles! Right to come, right to go, right to stay!

During our rally against Lager in Eisenhüttenstadt on the International Day against Violence against Women on 25.11., many reported, that their mobiles had been taken away by german police when crossing the german/polish border in Frankfurt Oder. Refugees – also families with small children – arriving in Frankfurt Oder are send, also in the late afternoon, to a Camp somewhere far away in Germany. Some had to go without a mobile. Taking away their mobiles is a an incomprehensible encroachment on fundamental rights. Flight is not a crime.

So we decided to make a spotanous action on the german/polish border. We wanted to show solidarity with the refugees crossing borders. Accompanied by our friends from Haus des Wandels, Seebrücke, Konvoi Potsdam and other supporters. We stood on the bridge between Frankfurt Oder and Slubice and demanded: Open Borders!

Today we celebrate the Human Rights Day. On December 10, 1948, the United Nations General Assembly adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights. In it: the right to asylum.

But who was sitting at the table discussing the definition of a refugee?! Only the Colonial Powers and the very few decolonized countries like India and Pakistan. So this definition was built to exclude us from asylum or give us away to over-exploitation as illegalized.

This is why, on the Human Rights Day, we condemn:

  • the racism, refugees have to face on their way to and in Europe
  • the deadly fortress Europe from Belarus to Libya

We demand:

  • to the German police in Brandenburg and Sachsen: Stop taking the mobiles from refugees! Give them back!
  • justice for the human rights violations happening at the Borders
  • Right to come, right to go, right to stay!

We call for solidarity from the communities on the flight-routes with those who are on the run.

Potsdam, 09.11.21 Gemeinsame Presseerklärung von Flüchtlingsrat Brandenburg, Women in Exile & Friends und Opferperspektive

Istanbul-Konvention auch in Brandenburg konsequent umsetzen – Rita O.s Tod muss aufgeklärt werden!

Am 10. November 2021 findet der Fachtag „Istanbul goes Brandenburg: Jetzt! Gemeinsam gegen Gewalt an Frauen und Mädchen: Fachtag zu Vernetzung und Austausch zur Umsetzung der Istanbul-Konvention“ statt. Das „Übereinkommen des Europarats zur Verhütung und Bekämpfungvon Gewalt gegen Frauen und häuslicher Gewalt“, kurz Istanbul-Konvention, verpflichtet alle Träger staatlicher Gewalt, „Frauen vor allen Formen von Gewalt zu schützen und Gewalt gegen Frauen und häusliche Gewalt zu verhüten, zu verfolgen und zu beseitigen“ (Art. 1 Abs. 1 lit. a). Die Rechte der Istanbul-Konvention müssen Staaten diskriminierungsfrei für alle Frauen und Mädchen gewährleisten (Artikel 4 Abs. 3).

Wir fördern dass,

– der Tod von Rita O., die Umstände die ihn möglich machten und dass Versagen der Strafverfolgungsbehörden bei dessen Aufklärung juristisch und politisch untersucht und aufgearbeitet werden,

– der Tod von Rita O., die Umstände die ihn möglich machten und dass Versagen der Strafverfolgungsbehörden bei dessen Aufklärung juristisch und politisch untersucht und aufgearbeitet werden,

Continue reading Potsdam, 09.11.21 Gemeinsame Presseerklärung von Flüchtlingsrat Brandenburg, Women in Exile & Friends und Opferperspektive

Press release on the current situation of newly arriving refugees.

Every day, up to a hundred refugees arrive in Eisenhüttenstadt from the Polish border. We know what this means for the already overcrowded accommodation spaces in the initial reception facilities. We are also aware that these are people who have made a hard and dangerous journey to get to Germany. They were chased and attacked by racist groups on the way, women experienced sexual violence. Border police from different European countries have beaten them up and unleashed dogs on them to push them back. Despite all this, they managed to overcome these hardships and we are glad that they arrived.

The purpose of this press release is to remind the authorities that we expect the new arrivals to be treated with dignity, that their rights are respected and that they have learned from 2015. When camps are overcrowded, there is more conflict between residents* and sexual violence/harassment against women and LGTB. We call for the protection of these vulnerable groups and for their cases to be processed quickly so that they can move out of the camps.

We ask civil society to welcome them without hostility and prejudice. It is the beginning of winter and the way here is even more dangerous. We have heard that the fascist group III. Weg is building a militia against us refugees around Guben. We call on the police to take action against the fascists. We need a civil society that welcomes the arriving refugees with open arms and allows them to arrive and participate.

Women in Exile and Friends are currently supporting a family in one of the Berlin reception centers and trying to empower them to stand up for themselves. This family is very vulnerable, even though they are participating in resettlement programs and have access to social services. The camp staff is also very supportive of them, but of course they have other people to accompany. For this reason, we are calling on organizations and individuals in Berlin and Brandenburg to support the arriving refugees.

PR:Women* on the move against Lagersystem and racism from 21.07 – 04.08

Women in Exile & Friends

Women in Exile is an initiative of refugee women founded in Brandenburg in 2002. As refugees and women* of this society we want to fight for our rights. Our main focus is the abolishment of Lagers. Madeleine Mawamba: „We believe the shared and isolated accommodations work as a catalyst to sexual violence, traumas and depressions leading to (attempted) suicides. That is why we say: No Lager for women and children! Abolish all Lager!“

Women in Exile & Friendshave been making summer tours to different German federal states to connect with other refugee women*, especially those living in lager. This summer we will move to Hamburg, Bremen and Mecklenburg-Vorpommern.

Elizabeth Ngari: „We will be a group of 40 refugee women and children on tour with the Solibus (Solibus e.V. Gemeinsam mobil für eine solidarische Welt). We will camp or sleep at our hosts. We will visit the Lager, do demonstrations against racism and Lager, encourage each other and facilitate empowerment workshops. We will encourage and network with other refugee women*, groups and individuals working with refugee women*. On this tour we will bring into public the isolation, racism, sexism, reports on traumas on those experiencing sleepless nights for fear of deportation and the effects of the corona pandemic. To abolish this racist Lagersystem, we will break borders preventing our participation and build bridges to connect us to other communities. So that refugees will be given the opportunity to choose where we want to live in dignity.“

Women in Exile will Kick off the Bustour in Potsdam on the 21.07. at 11:00 in Front of Brandenburg Parliament with a rally against Lager and racism. Everybody is welcome to join and support the fight for freedom of movement, for the abolishment of all Lager and against racism. We know: Solidarity wins. On the 4.8. we will come back and held a standing rally at Oranienplatz in Berlin. There will be a press conference and food will be served. Warm welcome to join us there too and hear of our experiences.

We ask for your finacial support and solidarity for our Tour. So that we can work for the empowerment of refugee women*, bring the systematic violation of our rights to the public and work together with other communities for an open and solidarity society. Abolish all Lager! Freedom of movement is everbodys right!

PR: International Women’s Day: Against the Racist and Sexual Violence of the Lager-system in times of Pandemic

The Covid 19 pandemic is being felt throughout society. On the one hand, it’s easy to generalize: it’s a virus we all have to deal with. On the other hand, we have to be realistic: Living in isolation, with no prospect of residency, hoping the police don’t come to enforce deportation, is not only stressful and traumatizing, it compounds the stress of the pandemic. Elizabeth Ngari, co-founder of Women in Exile & Friends, says, “We are not only targeted by the virus, but also by everyday sexism and racism, migration policies and police controls. For example, it is obvious structural racism when in the former deportation detention center in Eisenhüttenstadt only “people of non-German origin” were detained for violating quarantine measures” (the MAZ reported on 10.2.2021).

Elizabeth Ngari: “The way the pandemic is being handled is exacerbating our structural and social exclusion in this society.” For many, it’s easy to work from home, attend online meetings, discuss their problems and try to find solutions. A year of social distancing, online meetings, and wearing masks has shown us all the importance of participation and social contact. But in the isolated refugee camps, access to the Internet is poor or non-existent. The Foreigners’ Registration Office, the BAMF and the German Red Cross in the initial reception centers, just a few meters away from the accommodations, naturally have good Internet. “Digital exclusion not only mirrors spatial and social exclusion, but reinforces it,” adds Madeleine Mawamba of Women in Exile & Friends. Many of the women in the camps are excluded from digital conferences and digital organizing and participation. In addition to digital exclusion, “social distancing is a privilege” in the canteens, where up to 400 people eat or share toilets.

Continue reading PR: International Women’s Day: Against the Racist and Sexual Violence of the Lager-system in times of Pandemic

PM 25.11.20: Eisenhüttenstadt Lager – hotspot for sexual assaults

Last year during the international “day against violence against women” we were mourning about our sister Rita in Hohenleipisch and demanding justice in front of the authorities in Herzberg and Potsdam. This year women living in the receiving centre lager in Eisenhüttenstadt report to us: Eisenhüttenstadt Lager is not only a dangerous corona hotspot, but also a hotspot for sexual assaults and harassment against women particularly lesbians. Lesbian and trans feel discriminated and not protected from the authorities.

This is not only happening in Eisenhüttenstadt, but also in Wünsdorf and other lagers. M., a 21-year-old lesbian from Georgia narrates, what it means living in the so called “protection house” in Eisenhüttenstadt. She was harassed by other refugees, who knew she was a lesbian. Some wanted to beat her and wanted to force her to have sex with them while others insulted her. She got depressed and had to see a psychologist.  The officials and the security know of her risk, but only tell her to stay in her room, in order to keep safe. The so called “protection house” is not at all a safe place for vulnerable refugees, rather one of homemade crisis and her room a prison. Realizing this, M. requested to be transferred to Wünsdorf, hoping things could be different. In Wünsdorf she is facing the same problems. She is now looking for support to move out of the lager and meet LGBT community.

We, from Women in Exile and Friends, have for a long time been fighting for women and children to be removed from the lagers and to abolish all lagers. It is because we know and share what is happening inside these lagers. When a man assaults a woman, he is transferred to another lager where of course, he will continue assaulting others. Update reports on Rita`s murder, is that the suspect was moved to another lager. These continuous acts make us angry. Why is the system so silent about these assaults and letting women suffer these atrocities?

Continue reading PM 25.11.20: Eisenhüttenstadt Lager – hotspot for sexual assaults

Von Politik zweiter Klasse – Niemand darf zurückgelassen werden!

Die Landesflüchtlingsräte, PRO ASYL und die Seebrücken-Bewegung legten heute am 11. Mai 2020, um 10 Uhr in einer Pressekonferenz dar, dass es gerade jetzt gilt, niemanden zurückzulassen und Lager zu schließen – ob in Moria oder Halberstadt. Vertreter*innen der Organisationen berichteten von Problemlagen, Maßnahmen und Perspektiven.

Während Menschen weltweit mit den Maßnahmen durch die Covid-19-Pandemie zu kämpfen haben, sind besonders jene, die erzwungenermaßen in Camp Strukturen untergebracht sind, enormen Gefahren ausgesetzt. Schutzsuchende leben teils zu tausenden in Lagern, in denen Infektionsschutz und persönliche Bedarfsdeckung zwangsläufig nicht möglich ist. Mit Blick auf die Elendslager in Moria auf Lesvos oder weiteren Inseln, auf das Leid der Menschen in den Folterlagern Libyens, dem Schicksal der Menschen auf der Balkanroute und auch in Massenunterkünften in Deutschland lässt sich feststellen: Schutzsuchende werden dem Virus schutzlos ausgesetzt oder mit freiheitsentziehenden Maßnahmen belegt.

„Wir beobachten derzeit eine bewusste Gefährdung der Gesundheit, nämlich dass eine Durchseuchung in Kauf genommen wird,“ so Helen Deffner vom Flüchtlingsrat Sachsen-Anhalt. Zu Hunderten werden Geflüchtete auf engstem Raum untergebracht und dadurch zwangsläufig dem gefährlichen Virus ausgesetzt. „Das Corona-Virus macht noch einmal deutlich: Es ist längst an der Zeit, dass die Landesregierungen Konzepte für die Unterbringung von Geflüchteten in Wohnungen erarbeiten und ausbauen und nicht weiter auf Massenunterbringung setzen. Es bedarf jetzt eines Richtungswechsels: Abkehr von Sammelunterkünften hin zu Wohnungen!

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