Arson, displacement and unemployment: Life after asylum in Germany

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It is almost impossible to legally ask for asylum in Germany. In order to do so the country from which a person enters Germany must itself be carrying out persecution. This does not apply to any of the countries that border Germany, so the only way to legally ask for asylum is to enter the country by sea or air.

According to the Dublin Convention, Germany can send any asylum seeker back to their country if the government is able to prove where they come from. If this cannot be done, the asylum seeker can still only apply for limited protection.

After having applied, the asylum seekers are dispersed across the Bundesländer (the German federal states) and must stay in the accommodation they are given until a decision is made about their request. This process can go on for more than a year, especially for those from countries such as Pakistan and Afghanistan. If asylum cannot be granted, they may still be granted protection as refugees. A refugee is a person who “is temporarily out of their native country because of fear of persecution due to their religion, nationality, political view or social conditions” and “whose human rights have been or might be violated”.

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