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including hands-on report and interview with Vivien Hellwig, manager of the project “Fokus Flucht” in the Network IQ Lower Saxony

“Know Your Rights!”

Innovative brochure supports female refugees in gaining knowledge for a self-determined and independent life in Germany.

Starting position/challenge

Female asylum seekers and their needs   have not been the main emphasis when it comes to migration work. A lot of information for refugees has been formulated in fairly general terms.  However, initial advice regarding life as a woman in Germany is essential for female refugees. Moreover, current analyses, for example of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF), have shown that there is a greater need for information among women who sought asylum since they have been barely represented in integration activities and in the labour market up to now. As the implementing organisation of the project “Fokus Flucht” in the Network IQ Lower Saxony, the Refugee Council of Lower Saxony e. V. has developed the brochure “Know Your Rights!”, which supports female refugees in creating a future in Germany and shaping it themselves.

Realisation of the brochure

Not all female refugees are facing the same problems and have the same questions. There is no “stereotypical female refugee”, the situations of people are diverse and that is why the use of the brochure “Know Your Rights!” depends on the individual person. In surveys of female refugees and of consultants who work on a full-time and on a voluntary basis, specific demands for information could be identified and evaluated. Important additional insights were provided by existing information materials as well as counselling services for women with a migration background who already live in Germany. From the identified subject matters, concise and comprehensive texts were composed and subsequently checked by counsellors and lawyers of the implementing organisation.

In order to make the sixteen-page brochure appealing to people with little knowledge of German, they have been illustrated with images and written in simple language. Furthermore, concrete indications regarding advice and counselling centres are listed in every chapter. The brochure contains initial information about legal fundamentals and support possibilities for female refugees. Subject matters of the chapters are amongst other things: asylum procedures, health care, dealing with domestic violence, education as well as labour market integration.

Conclusion

The information booklet “Know Your Rights!” has proven to be transferable as well as successful in practice, since the information booklet has already been highly in demand by multipliers working with female refugees. The brochure is also available in Arabic, Farsi, English, French, Turkish, Russian, Tigrinya, Kurmanji and Albanian. There is also a website on https://www.nds-fluerat.org/ that is continuously updated and supplemented. Apart from the booklet designed for Lower Saxony, an edition of the brochure has been adapted for Germany as a whole which points to contact overviews via which local contact points can be found on site.

Addressees for transfer:

Counselling centres for female migrants, professionals and volunteers working in support of refugees, women and girls

Brochure “Know Your Rights!”:

The sixteen-page brochure addresses female refugees and informs about the rights as a woman in Germany regarding the topics of asylum, family, education, labour, violence and mutual exchange. The brochure provides contact information to counselling centres and help desks where femalre refugees can get individual counselling. The information booklet from Lower Saxony is available in the languages German, Arabic, Farsi, English, French, Turkish, Russian, Tigrinya, Kurmanji and Albanian. Moreover, a nationwide version of “Know Your Rights!” with corresponding contact offices has been published.

Project:

Fokus Flucht 

Implementing organisation:

Refugee Council Lower Saxony e. V.

Project contact:

Vivien Hellwig, Röpkestraße 12, 30173 Hannover, Tel.: 0511/98 24 60 30, vh@nds-fluerat.org