Refugee Protection in Germany and Europe - Does a Paradigm Shift Succeed? 22. Berlin Symposium on Refugee Protection

with PIK Researcher Jacob Schewe (in German)
When Jun 20, 2022 09:00 AM to
Jun 21, 2022 02:00 PM
Where Französische Friedrichstadtkirche, Gendarmenmarkt 5, 10117 Berlin
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In its coalition agreement, the new German government announced a paradigm shift in refugee protection. The war in Ukraine has now led to unprecedented European solidarity for refugees. At the same time, the prospects for refugees from Afghanistan, for example, often remain unclear. Human rights violations continue to occur at the EU's external borders in the form of rejections without asylum procedures. This year's Refugee Protection Symposium deals with this tension. Can a comprehensive paradigm shift in refugee protection succeed?

For the first time, the EU has enacted its Temporary Protection Directive for refugees from Ukraine. What does the current dynamic mean for refugee protection in Europe and Germany? How is the application of the directive changing practice? In addition, the symposium will address issues such as: What is the impact of solidarity for Ukrainian refugees on refugee law? What educational opportunities do refugee children from different backgrounds receive? What is the situation in Afghanistan since the Taliban took power? What is needed to give more asylum seekers or tolerated persons the prospect of staying? What is the situation like for aid workers? And what protection options are available to people who have to flee due to climatic changes?

The main topic on the first day of the symposium is the refugee protection policy of the new federal government. The Federal Commissioner for Integration, Reem Alabali-Radovan, will open the symposium with a lecture on current challenges of refugee and integration policy. Representatives of various ministries as well as the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees will present, among other things, the measures of the new federal government and report on how these are being put into practice. Another topic will be access to education for refugee children from Afghanistan, Syria and Ukraine, for example. The Federal Government Commissioner for Human Rights, Luise Amtsberg, will speak on the situation for those seeking protection from Afghanistan.

The working forums will address topics such as the EU's "Temporary Protection Directive," the connection between climate change and flight, and the current discussion on the right to stay. Among others, PIK researcher Jacob Schewe will discuss the topic of climate change and flight.

Also discussed will be the challenge of family reunification, the situation in accommodation facilities for refugees, and human rights violations at the EU's external borders. The evening event will be opened by the representative of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees in Germany, Katharina Lumpp.

On the second day of the symposium, we contrast the new solidarity with refugees from Ukraine with the contradictory realities in different EU member states. Whether in camps in Greece, in sea rescue operations on the Mediterranean or at the EU's external border with Belarus, the rights of people on the run are violated again and again. Access to refugees is restricted for aid workers, legal assistance is made impossible and help is criminalized. A team of investigative journalists will show how human rights violations can be uncovered despite these difficult conditions. People with a history of flight will talk about their expectations of refugee policy and members of the new Bundestag will discuss challenges and solutions for refugee protection.

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