Germany - Criticism of the work obligation of asylum seekers

2024-03-03 14:01:00, Kosova & Bota CNA

Germany - Criticism of the work obligation of asylum seekers

Criticisms have increased in the debate about the compulsory commitment of asylum seekers to community work in Germany. The chairwoman of the Social Democratic Party, Saskia Esken, told the newspaper "Thüringer Allgemeine" that she does not see this as a solution. Approximate measures have been shown not to be successful with the long-term unemployed, she said. "Due to the lack of skilled labor today it is better for refugees to be able to enter regular employment with social security more quickly and without complications," said Esken.

Even the head of the Federal Labor Agency, Andrea Nahles, is critical. "The start of work by refugees has long been legally possible for refugees in shelters, it is being used with reservations by the municipalities," said Nahles. In the law on contributions for asylum seekers, it is stated in article 5, that "Those able to work, those who receive assistance and do not work and are not of school age are obliged to consider a job opportunity that is offered to them."

Heil: Forced to work in special cases

The German Minister of Labour, Hubertus Heil, sees the obligation to work for asylum seekers as reasonable. "It is right in force that municipalities can compulsorily commit asylum seekers living in refugee shelters to community work. In special cases it is reasonable to find work for people who have a long waiting time in asylum seeker shelters ." The debate was instigated some time ago by the president of the Association of German Regions, Reinhard Sager. He had requested several times that asylum seekers be forced to work. "Whoever is in good health and not infirm should work." The support given by the state cannot be unconditional, Sager told the newspaper Bild. In the Saale-Orla district in Thuringia, asylum seekers will have to work four hours a day. Asylum seekers will receive 80 cents an hour for simple work, and if they refuse, there will be cuts in social benefits up to 180 euros per month.

Germany - Criticism of the work obligation of asylum seekers

Working for 80 cents is exploitative

"It is racist and denigrating to assume that asylum seekers are not willing to work," declared the human rights organization, Pro Asyl. Its spokesman, Tareq Alawos, spoke out against people seeking help "now being forced to work in exploitative relationships for 80 cents an hour", at a time when many people are denied a regular work relationship: Even the leader of the E Majta party , Janine Wissler criticizes this proposition of Sagers. Who hires refugees for 80 cents an hour undermines wage contracts and minimum wages, Wissler said. "Thus, asylum seekers are put in the role of those who reduce salaries," said the left-wing politician. This does not promote integration, but increases competition in the low-wage sector.

Support for Sager's proposal came from the CDU. The General Secretary of the party, Carsten Linnemann, welcomed the possibility of compulsory work. "Everything that strengthens the principle of support, but also of demands, is welcome," he told Bild newspaper. And the head of the CDU branch for Thuringia, Mario Voigt, declared that "we must send the message that whoever finds solidarity in Germany must also give something himself", he said for the editorial network, Germany.

Germany - Criticism of the work obligation of asylum seekers

Access to the labor market, limited

For asylum seekers who have just arrived in Germany, access to the labor market is very limited. According to the current law in force, asylum seekers can in principle only work after three months after arrival, who lives in a refugee reception center and is not a minor can only work after nine months. Whereas "Gedultete" people with a tolerated residence permit or refugees with minor children in a reception center can work after six months. Asylum seekers from safe countries of origin, who have applied for asylum after August 2015, in principle do not have access to the labor market./ DW

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