Germany: Sexual Violence Serious Problem in Refugee Camps, Report


Women in refugee camps in Berlin, Germany, are regularly subjected to sexual violence, including sexual harassment, stalking, threats and rape by security guards and male camp residents, according to an investigation by the Integrated Regional Information Networks (IRIN). According to IRIN, even though the German government has instituted minimum standards of protection for women in the camps such as “strict standards of conduct for guards”, the standards are not legally binding and are inadequately enforced or monitored. In addition, security personnel, social workers and staff at the camps have not received adequate training on how to implement the standards and protect women at the camps from violence. 

The German Regional Office of Refugee Affairs (LAF) reports that there is no significant problem of sexual violence against women in the camps. However refugee support groups say the crimes are “seriously under-reported,” due to fear, language barriers, lack of psycho-social support and the fact that most refugee women don’t understand their rights under German law.  

Compiled from: Germany 'grossly' failing female refugees on sexual violence: report, The Local DE (May 11, 2017); Muller, Pascale, Sukharchuck, Daria, Polat, Yasmin, Women refugees at risk of sexual assault in Berlin sheltersIRIN Investigations (May 10, 2017).