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17. May 2018

All-in-one ‘Anchor’ Centres increase likelihood of violence against female refugees

Press Release: Cologne/Berlin, 17 May 2018. “Based on the ‘transit centres’ used in Bavaria, this type of mass accommodation sets the priority clearly on the side of isolation and deportation rather than protection and integration of refugees,” says Monika Hauser, founder of the women’s rights organisation medica mondiale, in a joint press release with the German Network and Coordination Office Against Trafficking In Human Beings. In particular, both organisations fear an increase in violence against women and girls in mass accommodation.

Furthermore, it can be assumed that independent counselling points such as those from the KOK will be granted very little access to the planned centres. This was already visibly the case in the Bavarian transit centres. On this, Naile Tanis, Managing Director of KOK e.V. comments: “Within this type of mass accommodation, it is very difficult to identify groups of people who are particularly at risk and in need of protection, such as women travelling alone, those affected by sexualised violence or people being trafficked. In addition, isolation and a lack of protection increase the risk of being exploited or subjected to violence (again) here in Germany.”

Monika Hauser: "AnKER centers represent a major step backwards in terms of protection against violence"

The “Arrival, Decision and Repatriation” Centres (which in German leads to the acronym AnkER – ‘anchor’) will accommodate everyone seeking refuge in Germany – potentially for the whole duration of their asylum procedure. The labour union of German police officers warns of “significant potential for aggression and danger” in this type of centre. “In terms of violence protection, these all-in-one centres will be a great step backwards,” declares Monika Hauser, pointing out that mass accommodation facilities for as many as 1500 people will increase the risk of gender-based violence that women and girl refugees already face. Ms Hauser continues: “Instead of investing this money in a project that creates favourable conditions for violence against women, the Federal Government should make money available for long-term concepts to protect people from violence.”

Joint appeal: no AnKER centers! More protection from (sexualized) violence!

medica mondiale and the KOK are calling on the national government not to go ahead with the plans to set up Anchor Centres. They are appealing for measures to provide humane accommodation that protects refugees from sexualised or other forms of violence and exploitation in the facilities. Furthermore, all of those seeking shelter here need to receive fair process for their asylum applications, as well as the necessary psychosocial and medical care. medica mondiale has been committed to supporting women and girls in war zones and crisis areas for 25 years. In addition to gynaecological, psychosocial and legal assistance, medica mondiale also offers programmes to help women secure their own livelihood and it carries out political human rights work.

Against human trafficking, exploitation and violence against migrant women

The association KOK e. V. was founded in 1999 and now has 38 members. It is a national coalition of specialist advice centres and other organisations that are working against human trafficking, exploitation and violence against migrants.

Responsible according to the press law, and further info from:
German Network and Coordination Office Against Trafficking In Human Beings (KOK e.V.)
Tel.: +49 30 26 39 11 76
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