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Housing refugees and asylum seekers

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Housing refugees
(© dpa-Bildfunk)

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.

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Registration of refugees by the German Red Cross
(© DRK LV Sachsen e.V.)

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.

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Food distribution
(© DRK LV Sachsen e.V.)

Refugees admitted into an initial reception centre are also given a code wristband enabling them to collect food from the food bank.

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Code wristband
(© DRK LV Sachsen e.V.)

Code wristband being issued by a German Red Cross worker.

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Food distribution
(© DRK LV Sachsen e.V.)

A refugee receiving food at the Bremer Straße initial reception centre in Dresden.

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Tea trolley
(© DRK LV Sachsen e.V.)

A German Red Cross worker clearing a tea trolley.

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Sleeping area at the Nöthnitzer Strasse initial reception centre
(© DRK LV Sachsen e.V.)

Initial reception centres are generally split into several areas. Pictured here is the sleeping area at the Nöthnitzer Strasse facility in Dresden.

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Living area at an initial reception centre
(© DRK LV Sachsen e.V.)

The picture shows the living area at the Heidenau initial reception centre near Dresden.

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Medical point at the Heidenau initial reception centre
(© DRK LV Sachsen e.V.)

Every initial reception centre also has a Med Point, where the refugees receive medical care. Here: Heidenau initial reception centre near Dresden.

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Heidenau initial reception centre
(© DRK LV Sachsen e.V.)

Laundry at the initial reception centre in Heidenau near Dresden.

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Eating area at the Messe Leipzig facility
(© DRK LV Sachsen e.V.)

Messe Leipzig initial reception centre.

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Messe Leipzig clothing bank
(© DRK LV Sachsen e.V.)

Refugees can procure clothing and shoes in the clothing bank. Pictured here: The clothing bank at the Messe Leipzig initial reception centre.

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Map of Leipzig's Convention Centre
(© DRK LV Sachsen e.V.)

A map of the Messe Leipzig initial reception centre shows the various nations distributed over various areas.

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Structure of the initial reception centres
(© DRK LV Sachsen e.V.)

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).

Ministry of the Interior

Sicherheitsrahmengesetz

Measures for added security in and around IRCs in Saxony

Ministry of the Interior

Anti-violence scheme for initial reception centres in the Free State of Saxony

Anti-violence scheme for initial reception centres

Landesdirektion Sachsen

Detailed information on the initial reception centres in Saxony

Detailed information on the initial reception centres in Saxony

You want to help?

Contacts for aid initiatives

Contacts for aid initiatives

Saxon Refugee Admissions Act (SächsFlüAG)

Saxon Refugee Admissions Act (SächsFlüAG)

Legal regulations on admitting and housing refugees

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