Housing refugees and asylum seekers
A number of initial reception centres are currently being set up across Saxony, generally in existing buildings, such as gymnasiums or empty residential buildings. Due to the lacking capacities, however, hardy, heatable tents and lightweight constructions are also used as initial reception centres.
In addition to registration by the Central Bureau for Foreigners and the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, refugees, upon arrival at an initial reception centre, are also registered by the German Red Cross, which runs the centres.
Refugees admitted into an initial reception centre are also given a code wristband enabling them to collect food from the food bank.
Code wristband being issued by a German Red Cross worker.
A refugee receiving food at the Bremer Straße initial reception centre in Dresden.
A German Red Cross worker clearing a tea trolley.
Initial reception centres are generally split into several areas. Pictured here is the sleeping area at the Nöthnitzer Strasse facility in Dresden.
The picture shows the living area at the Heidenau initial reception centre near Dresden.
Every initial reception centre also has a Med Point, where the refugees receive medical care. Here: Heidenau initial reception centre near Dresden.
Laundry at the initial reception centre in Heidenau near Dresden.
Messe Leipzig initial reception centre.
Refugees can procure clothing and shoes in the clothing bank. Pictured here: The clothing bank at the Messe Leipzig initial reception centre.
A map of the Messe Leipzig initial reception centre shows the various nations distributed over various areas.
Staff from the aid organisations often only have a few days/hours to set up an initial reception centre. Pictured here: The Heidenau reception centre near Dresden.
Upon arrival in Germany, refugees and asylum seekers are initially housed at state-run initial reception centres, and later in communal accommodation provided by the municipalities. They spend a maximum of three months at the initial reception centres, and are then spread over the municipalities.
Care at initial reception centres
The initial reception centres are run by the Free State of Saxony (Saxon Central Office) in co-operation with the following aid organisations:
- DRK Sachsen e.V.
- MW Malteser Werke gemeinnützige GmbH
- Johanniter-Unfall-Hilfe e.V. Landesverband Sachsen
Saxony currently has two initial reception centres - in Chemnitz-Ebersdorf and Leipzig-Friederikenstraße (interim solution until completion of the initial reception centre in Leipzig-Gohlis). Another initial reception centre is set to be available in Dresden-Hammerweg in 2017. There is also temporary accommodation as part of the initial reception services for asylum seekers to help cope with the ongoing influx of refugees in Saxony.
The following is done at the initial reception centres:
- Registration of refugees and asylum seekers by the Centre for Foreign Education (ZAB)
- Initial medical examinations
- Registration with the Federal Ministry for Migration and Refugees (BAMF)
The BAMF is responsible for conducting the asylum process. At every initial reception centre with a capacity of more than 500 beds, the BAMF sets up a branch office to attend to the asylum process. Branch offices currently exist in Chemnitz, Leipzig and Dresden.
Security scheme for initial reception centres (IRCs) in Saxony
In recent weeks, the ever growing number of asylum-seekers has once again led to security-related incidents in and around IRCs. This security scheme aims to establish suitable and necessary measures to increase security in and around IRCs.
Anti-violence scheme for initial reception centres in the Free State of Saxony
Violence has often been a constant in the lives of refugees in their home countries or during their escape. Even in Germany, where they are seeking asylum and protection from violence, there is still a possibility of them experiencing sexual or domestic violence from partners, fellow residents or staff at the refugee accommodation facilities. People from different countries and ethnicities cohabiting in a confined space at the asylum accommodation facilities has the potential for conflict.
The aforementioned safety scheme contains initial regulations for handling persons requiring particular protection, which are then further elaborated on in this anti-violence scheme. This particularly includes establishing standards on what to do after acts of violence have been performed against people requiring particular attention, as well as provisions on how to prevent this.
Communal accommodation in the municipalities
Refugees are generally only assigned to communal accommodation in the districts and independent municipalities once registered by the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF). Due to high occupancy rates at the states' initial reception centres, some of the refugees are distributed over the municipalities even before they have been registered by the BAMF.
The requirements for distribution to municipal communal accommodation are:
- Registration by the Centre for Foreign Education (ZAB)
- The initial medical examination
- A ten-day incubation period
Distribution is based on the principle that refugees from safe countries of origin remain at the Free State's initial reception centres until the processes are complete.
The municipalities are responsible for looking after and caring for people seeking protection at the communal accommodation facilities.
Distribution over districts and independent municipalities within Saxony is based on a key calculated using the respective district's/independent municipality's percentage of the state's total resident population. Refugee housing and care are governed by the Saxon Refugee Admissions Act (SächsFlüAG).