The Refugee Council of Brandenburg
The Refugee Council is a non-governmental organization operating in all of Brandenburg. Since 1994 the Refugee Council has been a network of:
- people with and without a refugee status or background
- representatives of information centers, charities, and churches
- refugee-led organizations
as well as local organizations and initiatives.
We fight for a non-racist society, social solidarity and for improving the living conditions of refugees. The Refugee Council is politically independent. We stand up for refugees and support them in their struggle for full access to legal rights as well as unrestricted participation in society. We fight against the closure of borders and for the reception of people in need and danger.
We demand that refugees and migrants are granted the right to permanent residence. We strictly reject deportations. The repatriation of refugees may solely take place freely and voluntarily. We oppose the segregation and isolation of refugees in camps. We demand equal rights for all.
What we do
The Refugee Council’s office is the point of contact for people involved in the field of flight and asylum in Brandenburg. We coordinate and promote the exchange of information and the communication between local initiatives, self-organizations of refugees and migrants, counseling centers and others. We offer workshops and information events as well as basic advice by telephone.
In addition, the Refugee Council takes a public stance on political developments at the state level and in the municipalities. Through targeted public relations and discussions with politicians and administrators, we campaign for the rights of refugees. We do this in cooperation with other organizations and activist groups.
At the state level, the Refugee Council is represented in various boards and networks, such as Brandenburg’s Integration Advisory Board, the Brandenburg Commission for Cases of Hardship and the board of the Brandenburg Coalition for Action against Violence, Right-Wing Extremism and Racism. In addition, the Refugee Council is active statewide in civil society networks and initiatives.
The Refugee Council does not offer advice on individual cases but can make contact to counseling centers in Brandenburg that provide information on the asylum procedure and general migration issues. Currently, our helpline is available in English and German. An overview of local counseling and advise services can be found here.
Our helpline is available on Mondays from 1pm to 4pm and Tuesdays and Thursdays from 10am to 1pm.
Every last Wednesday of each month from 5pm to 7pm.
Currently, the meetings take place online. All meetings and the respective main topic are announced on our website. Access data can be requested at email@example.com
If the meeting is held offline it usually takes place in
Legal assistance and hardship funds
Due to the sometimes restrictive decision-making practice of the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF) and local immigration offices (Ausländerbehörden), many refugees find themselves in difficult legal situations. Often, urgently needed protection is denied by authorities and courts, and reasons for flight are not recognized. In such situations, legal support from lawyers is often urgently needed. In order to give refugees access to legal protection, the Refugee Council advises on the financial support available through Pro Asyl’s legal assistance fund. It is also possible to apply for support from the Refugees Council’s own hardship fund. Special emergencies can be, for example, unlawful denial of social benefits as well as cases of hardship under asylum and residence law.
If you have any questions about the different funds as well as how to apply, please write to: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Reception Programme for Syria (“Landesaufnahmeprogramm”)
We receive a lot of questions about the reception programme for Syrian refugees in Brandenburg. Here we publish answers to the most frequently asked questions (unfortunately only in German so far). However, they are no substitute for qualified counselling in individual cases. Addresses of counselling centres can be found at the bottom of the page.
The Refugee Council holds open meetings that take place every last Wednesday of each month at 5pm.
These meetings aim to facilitate political networking and address asylum policy issues, e.g. access to the labor market, Dublin deportations, family reunion, etc. The meetings are usually held in German, sometimes they are held bilingual. If you would like to attend a meeting and are in need of a translator, please contact us in advance. Also in advance, please check our website or contact our office during the office hours (0331 – 71 64 99) to learn if the venue or the time of our meeting has changed.
All meetings are open to the public; registration is not required. Please note, however, that the regular venue is unfortunately not barrier-free.
Access data for online sessions can be requested at email@example.com.
Under the section “Publikationen” you will find multilingual information and guides in different languages published by the Refugee Council. We for example inform about basic rights of refugees living in shared accommodations or rights of asylum seekers who live in the initial reception center in Brandenburg.
Information is usually sent in German. You can use the contact form to subscribe to our mailing lists.
The Refugee Council offers the following mailing lists:
[Infodienst] This list provides information on the topics of flight and asylum, current debates in Brandenburg and at the national level, and informs about upcoming events. You will receive our latest press releases and statements on political developments. We also keep you up to date on our work.
[Newsletter] Via this mailing list you will receive our monthly newsletter with information for refugees and practitioners, policy news and latest publications.
[Beratungsverteiler] This list provides special information for counselors, practitioners and people working in the field of flight and asylum. We e.g. inform about parliamentary decrees and legislative changes as well as new publications for legal and immigration advice.
We currently set up a media pool which will contain basic equipment for holding (digital/hybrid) events and network meetings. We are happy to make the acquired equipment and media available to refugee self-organizations and organizations active in Brandenburg in the field of flight and migration. Currently, the media pool includes two 360° conference microphones.
We hope to be able to constantly expand the range of the media pool. We are happy to receive suggestions on which tools are often missing and needed in everyday work.
If you would like to borrow equipment from the media pool, please write to us (approx. 14 days before the event): firstname.lastname@example.org.
For media requests please email us at email@example.com
- Handbook Germany provides answers about life in Germany in videos and texts with important tips on the topics of asylum, housing, health, work and education, as well as daycare, studying and much more.
- Information in different languages provided by the Refugee Council Thuringia on the asylum procedure, family reunion, deportation, racism and much more can be found here.
- (…) this collection of information will be continued continuously