Social Participation

“Integration” is the buzzword in the debate about flight and migration. Often the demand for integration is directed to the refugees themselves according to the motto “integrate yourself”. Integration, however, should also mean enabling refugees to participate in the various sectors of society without coercion. This is structurally prevented in the ANKER centres.

The ANKER centres are often located in places that are either difficult to reach by public transport (like industrial areas) or right next to heavily trafficked roads. The warehouses are visible from the outside through barbed wire fences and security gates serve for entry and exit control. Access to the ANKER centres is provided for the residents themselves, government officials, security personnel and employees of the respective operating companies. Civil society and volunteers are usually not allowed to enter the facilities and if so, only to a very limited extent. Private persons are denied access. This type of accommodation isolates refugees and prevents them from participating in social life. Due to the principle of benefits in kind and a very low allowance they lack the financial means to cover travel costs. For many people it is also not possible to leave the administrative districts without permission from the authorities due to the residence obligation. The monthly cash benefits are approximately 80 to 120 euros, with benefit reductions even up to zero euro. This leads to total social exclusion or illegal informal employment. Due to rigorously imposed work bans, people are dependent on social benefits and are unable to pursue any employment of their choice.

The camps thus effectively prevent people from participating in everyday life, work, education and other social structures. The residents are excluded from a social “we” and stylized to the “others”. On closer examination, therefore, the term ANKER is concealed in this context: Isolation, discrimination and structural deprivation of rights.

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