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Covid-19 Pandemic: #SocialDistanceIsAPrivilege – Keeping the Social Distancing rule is impossible in lagers

On 21.04. we got reports that in the Hennigsdorf camp in the district of Oberhavel, 20 refugees were tested positive to the corona virus. In the same camp which is a stone throw away from Berlin, 300 refugees have been quarantined while testing is going on. Other camps like Zeppelinstr. in Potsdam and much more in Berlin are already under the status of forced quarantine.

Hennigsdorf is just an example of the so called „transit homes “, where refugees are supposed to be accommodated temporary for a short period while solutions of accommodating them in proper flats is found.

In these so called „transit homes “refugee live sometimes for over ten years. Sharing rooms with a living space of only 6qm² and sharing also all other facilities such as toilets, bathrooms, kitchens. At the end, most of them end up depressed and traumatised from the situation, while some don’t find other ways than committing suicide. On top of this women encounter sexual and physical violence from inside and outside because of their vulnerability in these forced accommodation spaces. The murder of our sister Rita last year is a case in point (see our article ).

Our campaign” No lager for women and children, Abolish all lagers “is based on these facts which most of us experienced first-hand.

Accommodation of refugees is a source of financial benefits to many businesses, this is why even during the corona crisis, it is difficult for the authorities to decide on alternative accommodation to avoid a catastrophic corona virus spread. Refusal to close lagers during the Covid-19 pandemic will end up costing the state more than what it would, if they moved the refugees to safer accommodations. Accommodations where the ”social distancing rule“ could be kept.

This brings us back to the question of how long it will take the authorities to accept the fact that Covid-19 is a disaster for the refugees who are living in the camps. That forced mass accommodation of refugees in camps is not a solution but a problem. Women in Exile and other organisations have been demanding the closure of lagers for a long time. Since the outbreak of the corona virus many more organisations have come together calling for the closure of the lagers through online actions and press releases and asking for refugees to be moved to the empty holiday flats and hotels which are lying empty to prevent a mass disaster.

This is why as usual we demand:

„No lager for women and children, Abolish all lagers!!!

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