Tag: violence

Turkey: State paramilitaries are destroying Syrian refugees’ tent homes in İzmir

As of February 8th, refugees living in tents in the Torbalı and Bayındır districts of İzmir are being evacuated in accordance with district governorate decisions through the intervention of its gendarmerie State paramilitary force. The tent areas are being removed. Thousands of refugees, who left their countries because of the civil war in Syria, have been struggling to survive as seasonal agricultural workers and living in the tent camps, constructed through their own efforts, in rural areas of İzmir.

Since Wednesday, many tent areas have been removed by gendarmerie without reason. Some tent areas were given until Monday to evacuate. Refugees whose assigned residence city is not İzmir have been expelled and people are being told they are expected to rent homes. However, for the majority of the refugees who work for very low wages it is not possible to earn enough money to move into a house.

In return for originally directing people to the tent areas and finding people jobs, “dayıbaşı” (the bosses of the areas) deduct money from refugees’ wages, pay irregularly or do not pay people at all. Since the agricultural workers need to live close to their working areas and don’t know the local language [Turkish], they are forced to accept the dayıbaşı system. Thus, being evacuated from their tents means taking away their means to an income.

What this means is that refugees who already left everything they had in Syria will, for a long time, now be unable to earn an income — demand for seasonal workers decreases in winter. They have survived through the cold weather thanks to tents, food, firing, diapers and hygiene products provided by a limited number of volunteers and CSO’s. The tent areas, which lack toilets, showers, clean water and  have been covered in mud from rainfall, are being ignored by the authorities.

These conditions affect children the most. Children are exposed to illnesses and developmental disabilities as a result of poor nutrition and health conditions. Hospitals deny treatment to refugees without documents. Even the death of baby Noaf, of pneumonia, after being refused hospital treatment did not impact government policy; which makes it particularly hard for refugees to get registered. And there are lots of children suffering from pneumonia in the camps. The threat of forced displacement by the gendarmerie further deepens the trauma of children, initially caused by the civil war and subsequent poor living conditions.

Last May, before the harvest, these tent areas providing a living space for nearly 2,000 people were removed by the district governorate. It is thought-provoking that the same action is now being taken just before seed-time, when the demand for seasonal workers increases. All this despite three years of speculation that the district governorate and municipality had plans to move people from the tent areas to one central place; to improve the living conditions of agricultural worker refugees.

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Impressions of the expert conference “Protection of Refugees against gender-based Violence”

Conference “Protection of Refugees against gender-based Violence”

text in german

by International Women’s Space

There are two forms of violence, according to Jennifer Kamau, an activist of International Women’s Space Berlin, a political group. The first form hits people directly and comes from individuals and structures, while the second form occurs when the public looks away and stays silent. The latter is worse because it ends up accepting and reinforcing certain other forms of violence, in particular, (structural) racist violence.
Along with other activists, Jennifer visits women in refugee centres, bringing their first-hand experiences of violent abuse to the public. In her workshop titled “Self-organized groups and empowerment“, Kamau spoke passionately about violence against (refugee) women in Germany. She raised the question of human rights “Where are they? (human rights) “, she asked.
Jennifer Kamau’s workshop was one of many that were held at the conference titled “Protection of Refugees against gender-based Violence – Empowerment of Refugee Women “. It was organized by Frauenhauskoordinierung (Association of Women’s Shelters) in cooperation with leading German independent welfare organisations. The idea was to bring project funders and other stakeholders in this field to share/exchange information and network. Self-organisations and representatives of LGBTTIQ were also speakers at the event. The conference was part of a project funded by the Federal Commissioner for Migration, Refugees and Integration. The project aims to implement measures to protect refugee women against violence and to empower them.
Since counselling and support structures for refugee women are not available everywhere, Frauenhauskoordinierung focuses on developing approaches for a better transition management. In order to provide such access, the support systems must be connected with the areas of migration and asylum.
At the conference, Heike Rabe of the German Institute for Human Rights spoke about the legal challenges and loopholes that exist in the current system at the interface between immigration law and violence protection. She raised the issue of how immigration and welfare authorities deal with women subject to the Residenzpflicht or residency requirement, who may want to move to another city or live in another federal state following incidents of violence at their centre. Heike Rabe believes the current immigration, asylum and benefit laws are sufficient. They ‘just’ need to be practised. She spoke about existing legal provisions by which the State can transfer residents and thus protect the survivor by separating her from the perpetrator. The Protection Against Violence Act and police powers to intervene apply at these centres. However, what is lacking is the effective application of the provisions stipulated in the immigration, asylum and benefits laws. Heike Rabe called for appropriate guidelines for authorities to assess cases of gender-based violence. On the other hand, it is important to have support systems that encourage women to assert their rights, she stressed.
Another speaker, Elisabeth Ngari, of Women in Exile spoke about “empowerment, victimisation, and solidarity“. She believes women refugees face double victimisation – first, as displaced people and then also as women. She therefore stressed the importance of empowering women refugees. Her organisation conducts workshops where women refugees talk about current topics, exchange information and discuss gender-specific issues. Women in Exile are a politically active group and have called for, among other things, the abolishment of all lagers in their campaign: “No Lager For Women”.
What can social work do or ‘offer’ in this context? Prof. Nivedita Prasad from Alice Salomon University of Applied Sciences Berlin, who raised this question, has called for social work to be regarded as a human rights profession. Social workers must check that all women have access to protection measures and spaces. Empowerment must be integral to every social workers’ understanding of their profession. Nivedita Prasad also spoke about the dangers of racist exclusions, like the created separation of ‘us’ and ‘them’, the culturalizing instrumentalization of violence against women (e.g. Cologne incident on New Year’s Eve 2015), the ‘integration mania instead of inclusion’, as well as the intersectionality of sexualized violence and asylum. Ultimately, she said, it is important that every social worker starts with him/herself to make structural inadequacies, visible and public. How is racism dealt with in your field of work? When looking for a new co-worker, why do I not look for a multilingual colleague who I can engage with at eye level and instead go for “just“ an interpreter?
At the final panel, Denise Klein from agisra e.V., Cologne said that our current system of violence protection is a ‘two tier’ one. “We are the ones that created the collective centres and Asylum Seekers Benefits’ Law (Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz), and now we see the consequences of that. If refugees had the same rights and liberties, then we would not need a special support system for them“.
According to Jennifer Kamau, it is time that white people took responsibility. “Africa is not poor. You took us all. You told us: here it’s better, so now we are here but we suffer from your system. Changing the structure in your country is not our but your task“, she stressed.
In conclusion, the conference sent a very strong signal by questioning structures that maintain white privilege. The idea was to come out of one’s comfort zone and use our position to fight for protection against gender-based violence and (structural) racism and to forge honest relationships based on trust with women refugees and stand in solidarity with their self-organized struggles. “If you want to change you have to start on your own, with whatever little you can do. But stop being silent about the things you see“, urged Jennifer Kamau.

Eindrücke von der Fachveranstaltung „Schutz von geflüchteten Menschen vor geschlechtsspezifischer Gewalt“ am 23. September 2016, Berlin

Nach Jennifer Kamau, Aktivistin der Gruppe International Women‘s Space Berlin, gibt es zwei Formen von Gewalt: diejenige, die von Personen oder Strukturen ausgehend Menschen direkt (be)trifft und diejenige, die entsteht, wenn die Öffentlichkeit dabei wegschaut und schweigt. Letztere sei die schlimmere, weil sie bestimmte Formen von Gewalt – vor allem (strukturelle) rassistische Gewalt – akzeptiert und damit verfestigt.
Sehr eindringlich spricht Jennifer Kamau in ihrem Workshop zum Thema „Selbstorganisierte Gruppen und Empowerment“ über Gewalt gegen (geflüchtete) Frauen in Deutschland. „Where are the human rights?“, fragt sie. Gemeinsam mit anderen Frauen macht sie auf die Missstände politisch aufmerksam, besucht geflüchtete Frauen in Unterkünften und verleiht den unzähligen Geschichten von Gewalterfahrungen in Deutschland eine Stimme.
Es ist ein Workshop neben vielen anderen an diesem Tag auf der Fachveranstaltung „Schutz von geflüchteten Menschen vor geschlechtsspezifischer Gewalt – Empowerment von geflüchteten Frauen“, organisiert von Frauenhauskoordinierung in Kooperation mit den Spitzenverbänden der freien Wohlfahrtspflege. Es geht um fachlichen Austausch und Vernetzung von Projektträgern und weiteren Akteuren, die sich in diesem breiten Themenfeld engagieren. Selbstorganisationen und Vertreter_innen von LSBTTIQ* sind als Referierende und Expert_innen aktiv eingebunden. Anlass ist ein im Rahmen der Bundesbeauftragten für Migration, Flüchtlinge und Integration gefördertes Projekt, in dem Maßnahmen zum Gewaltschutz und zur Stärkung der Frauen umgesetzt werden.
Frauenhauskoordinierung richtet zudem den Blick auf die Erarbeitung von Ansätzen für ein erfolgreiches Übergangsmanagement, denn nicht überall sind das Angebot und der Zugang zu Beratung und Unterstützung für geflüchtete Frauen gesichert. Dafür sei vor allem die Vernetzung der Hilfesysteme mit den Bereichen der Migration und Flucht notwendig.
So spricht Heike Rabe vom Deutschen Institut für Menschenrechte in ihrem Vortrag über die rechtlichen Herausforderungen und Lücken an der Schnittstelle zwischen Ausländerrecht und Gewaltschutz. Wie gehen die Ausländer- und Leistungsbehörden damit um, wenn Frauen, die der Residenzpflicht unterliegen oder Wohnsitzauflagen haben, aufgrund eines Gewaltvorfalls in einer Unterkunft schnellstmöglich in eine andere Stadt oder in ein anderes Bundesland umziehen möchten? Nach ihrer Auffassung sind die bestehenden Gesetze ausreichend. Sie müssen „nur“ angewandt werden. Die Behörden haben die Möglichkeiten der Umverteilung und damit der Trennung von Täter und Opfer im Sinne des Schutzes der Betroffenen. Das Gewaltschutzgesetz und die polizeilichen Eingriffsbefugnisse greifen auch in den Unterkünften. Es fehlt aber zum einen an der effektiven Anwendung der Vorschriften im Aufenthalts-, Asyl- sowie Leistungsrecht. Hier wären sogenannte ermessenleitende Vorgaben im Fall von geschlechtsspezifischer Gewalt für die Behörden hilfreich. Zum anderen ist es wichtig, dass das Unterstützungssystem Frauen ermutigt, ihre Rechte geltend zu machen.
Elisabeth Ngari von Women in Exile referiert über „Empowerment, Viktimisierung, Solidarität“. Sie spricht von der doppelten Viktimisierung, der geflüchtete Frauen durch die Fluchterfahrung und das gleichzeitige Frausein ausgesetzt werden. Empowerment von geflüchteten Frauen sei daher sehr wichtig. Women in Exile führen daher Workshops mit anderen geflüchteten Frauen durch; hier wird den Themen der Frauen Raum gegeben, es werden Informationen geteilt und aktuelle Probleme diskutiert. Damit diese Themen auch in der Öffentlichkeit hörbar werden, sind Women in Exile politisch aktiv und fordern unter anderem im Rahmen einer Kampagne: „Keine Lager für Frauen“.
Was kann Soziale Arbeit in diesem Kontext tun bzw. „leisten“? Prof. Dr. Nivedita Prasad von der Alice Salomon Hochschule Berlin appelliert an eine Soziale Arbeit als Menschenrechtsprofession. Jede_r Sozialarbeiter_in muss prüfen, ob Schutzmaßnahmen und -orte verfügbar und zugänglich für alle Frauen sind. Empowerment gehöre zum Grundverständnis einer jeden Sozialen Arbeit. Sie spricht aber auch von Hindernissen, die sich vor allem in der gefährlichen Praxis rassistischer Ausschlüsse wiederfinden. So zum Beispiel durch die häufige diskursive Trennung zwischen „wir“ und „den anderen“, die kulturalisierende Instrumentalisierung von Gewalt gegen Frauen (Beispiel Köln, Silvester 2015), die „Integrationsmanie statt Inklusion“ sowie die Intersektionalität von sexualisierter Gewalt und Flucht. Wichtig sei es letztendlich, dass jede_r Sozialarbeiter_in bei sich selbst anfängt und versucht strukturelle Defizite sichtbar und öffentlich zu machen: Wie wird mit Rassismus in meinem Arbeitsumfeld umgegangen? Warum suche ich bei der Stellenbesetzung nicht eine_n mehrsprachige_n Kollegin_Kollegen „auf Augenhöhe“, sondern „nur“ eine_n Dolmetscher_in?
Auch auf dem Abschlusspodium wird es deutlich: Es gäbe aktuell einen Gewaltschutz „zweiter Klasse“, so Denise Klein von agisra e.V. in Köln. „Wir haben die Massen- und Gemeinschaftsunterkünfte und das Asylbewerberleistungsgesetz geschaffen – jetzt sehen wir die Konsequenzen. Wenn Geflüchtete die gleichen Rechte und die gleiche Freizügigkeit hätten, dann bräuchte es kein gesondertes Unterstützungssystem.“
Laut Jennifer Kamau ist es – schon längst überfällig – an der Zeit, dass weiße Menschen Verantwortung übernehmen. Schließlich betont sie: „Africa is not poor. You took us all. You told us: here it’s better, so now we are here but we suffer from your system. Changing the structure in your country is not our but your task.“
In diesem Sinne hatte die Veranstaltung eine sehr eindringliche Note, die ans eingemachte weiße Privilegiennest ging. Es sollte darum gehen, die eigene „comfort zone“ zu verlassen und eigene Machtpositionen im Kampf für Schutz vor geschlechtsspezifischer Gewalt und (strukturellem) Rassismus zu nutzen. Es geht auch darum, ehrliche Vertrauensbeziehungen zu geflüchteten Frauen aufzubauen und sich mit bestehenden selbstorganisierten Kämpfen zu solidarisieren. „If you want to change you have to start on your own the little you can do. But stop being silent about the things you see“, so Jennifer Kamau.

Susann Thiel

Die Fachveranstaltung “Schutz von geflüchteten Menschen vor geschlechtsspezifischer Gewalt” hat am 23.9.2016 in Berlin stattgefunden.

Im folgenden finden Sie ein Bericht über die Veranstaltung. Einen weitereren Bericht gibt es auf der Seite der Beauftragten für Migration, Flucht und Integration.

Reactions to the break out of the Lager at Osloerstr. 23

After the rise up of the people living in the Lager at Osloerstr. 23 two weeks ago (link), a lot of things are happening in a very short time: the company administrating the lager, BTB Bildungszentrum, and LAF (the new LAGeSo) are really afraid about the propagation of these protests, and here we share with you and make public some of the consequences of this first protest. First of all, the supporters of the protest organized by the people living in the Lager are getting bans (Hausverbot) that don’t allow them to visit the families and play with the children, as they have been doing for over a year. The families and the children are very angry with the administration of the Lager, specially with Mark Held, the Heimleiter. Mr. Held is lying all the time to everybody: for example, he says to the people from Lager Mobilisation Group that now they are asking everybody who wants to visit a friend to sign a contract, but when someone not belonging to the group tries to enter, no contract is required. Prohibiting the entrance of the friends of the people living in the Lager only segregates them even more, and goes against the integration principles that are supposed to guide the work of the companies administrating the Lagers.

osloerstr lager protest

Secondly, the company BTB Bildungszentrum is having now emergency meetings: they are afraid of loosing a big business with the administration of the Lager that gives them around 100 000 € of benefits per month (after paying costs, salaries, etc.), and yesterday, on Wednesday the 8th of December, the boss of the company, Frauke Behrens, was visiting the Lager to see what’s going on.

But she was not alone in the Lager: also workers from the state like Noemi Majer (Koordinatorin für Flüchtlingsfragen Integrationsbüro) and Sascha Langenbach (second hand of the president of LAF -the new LAGeSo) where also visiting the Lager with translators, so that they could talk directly with the people living there.

After their visit to the Lager, we were able to talk a little bit with them. This was very productive: for example Mr. Langenbach thought that BTB earns 15 € per person and day. He is wrong: BTB actually earns 47,28 € per person per day, which makes over 1400 € per person every month (!). We can multiply by the 130 people that are living in this Lager to get an idea of the nice business that this Lager is for the company BTB. Another thing that Mr. Langenbach was saying is that he doesn’t understand how this situation, with thousands of people living in NUK (and this are just the numbers of Berlin), is not escalating and propagating to different Lagers. They are aware that this will happen soon, and that’s why they are all afraid.

The people living in the camp just want this horrible Lager in Osloerstr. 23, ran by Mark Held from BTB, to be closed. They are suffering a lot of pressure, their living conditions are more and more stressful, and the only thing they are asking for is having a place were they can stay peacefully, rest after the horrible experiences that they had to live (not only in their country and in their way to Germany, but also here), and start integrating in the society. In this link one can read their concrete demands.
So the questions are: when will this business finish? When will a real process of integration start?

soap bubbles at osloerstr lager

Syrian Gay Refugee Killed in İstanbul

Syrian gay refugee Muhammed Wisam Sankari has been found dead in Yenikapı district of İstanbul. Perpetrators of Sankari who was beheaded are yet to be caught. Sankari who was threatened, kidnapped by a crowded group of men and raped earlier was trying to flee to another country for his life safety.

In the wake of the homicide, Sankari’s housemates Rayan, Diya and Görkem have told Yıldız Tar from KaosGL.org of the difficulties Sankari had to endure, problems of LGBTİ refugees and immigrants in Turkey and their “Who is next” concerns.

“We have complained to Security, they did nothing”

Rayan who knew Sankari for over a year said, “He was very unsafe lately. He wasn’t telling much when we asked what is going on” and told that Sankari was threatened and kidnapped.

Rayan noted that they are having difficulties even walking home in Aksaray where they lives, a couple of times crowded group of men with knives threatened and tried to rape them. According to Rayan, what Sankari went through is as follows:

“We were staying at another house before this place but we had to leave it because we are gay. The neighboring people kept staring at us but we did nothing wrong. Five months ago, a group kidnapped Wisam in Fatih. They took him to a forestry by car, beat and raped him. They would kill him but Sankari managed to throw himself on the road and survived. We filed a complaint to the Security but nothing has come out of it”.

“We could recognize our friend from his trousers”

Görkem is a friend of Sankari and others and explained disappearance of Sankari and how they received his death knell in tears:

“Wisam left the house on July 30 Saturday. We were nervous because of the threats we were receiving. We told him to not go but he said he will go out to the street for about 15-20 minutes. He didn’t come home the whole night. We panicked when Wisam didn’t come the next day.

“Police called us on Sunday night. We went to Yenikapı with Rayan. They cut Wisam violently. It was so violent that two knives were broken inside him. They beheaded him, his upper body was in unrecognizable shape, his internal organs had come out. We recognized him from his trousers”.

“Who is next?”

Diya expressed that after Sankari’s killinn, they live in fear of “Who is next”:

“I am very scared. I feel as everyone is looking at me on the street. I was kidnapped too twice. No one takes care of us. Everybody just speaks. I receive threats on phone. I speak calmly so nothing bad will happen to me. It doesn’t matter whether Syrian or Turkish, if you are gay you are being targeted by everyone. They demand sex from you and stalk you if you don’t want it. I don’t even have an ID, who shall protect me for what? Who is next?” (YY/ÇT/TK)

Video: Emergency shelter in Wiesenstraße throws out Syrian refugee woman at night

Klick HERE for the Press Release which was published few days ago.

Watch the video: https://vimeo.com/154353396

International Women Space got to know Viviana when she was still living the emergency shelter (Lager) at the Wiesenstraße, in Wedding, Berlin. On te 29th of January we went to the Notunterkunft to have a coffee with Viviana and see how she was. The moment we met, Viviana was already showing signs of stress. No wonder, she was one of the few women living in a shared space of a former Basketball Hall with 200 men having only her bed as a place of her own.

Video: Sicherheitskontrollen für Non-Citizens im Sozialamt in Chemnitz

https://www.facebook.com/AsylumSeekersMovement/videos/1198700776826428

 

Deutsch: Unsere Video-Reportage über die Sicherheitskontrollen in Chemnitz (Sachsen), die die Non-Citizens durchlaufen müssen.

English: Our video report about security checkpoint in Chemnitz (Saxony) which Non-citizens have to pass through it.

Pressemitteilung: Syrische Frau wurde aus Notunterkunft in Berlin hinausgeworfen, weil sie ihre Menschrechte einforderte

 

vivianapic

English Version Below / versión española abajo

Syrian woman expelled from Berlin refugee camp for defending human rights

Mujer siria expulsada de un campamento para refugiados en Berlín por exigir derechos


 

Syrische Frau wurde aus Notunterkunft in Berlin hinausgeworfen, weil sie ihre Menschrechte einforderte

Vivian ist eine junge Frau aus Syrien. Sie ist vor dem Bürgerkrieg, der in ihrem Land tobt, und vor den Folgen, wie Arbeitslosigkeit, Hunger und sozialem Chaos geflohen. Alleine ist sie die Route aus dem Mittleren Osten nach Deutschland angetreten. Jedoch ist ihre Geschichte in Deutschland nicht von Zuflucht sondern (symbolischer) Gewalt, Erniedrigung, Frauenfeindlichkeit und Missbrauch geprägt. Die folgenden Ereignisse sind ihre Beschreibungen.

NO to VIOLENCE against WOMEN from CALIFATE TO PRIVATE/ NEIN zu GEWALT an FRAUEN von KALIFAT bis PRIVAT

Due to “international day against violence against women” a discussion event event will take place on 23rd of Nov. at 2pm in 

PallasT, Pallasstr. 35, 10781 Berlin (corner Potsdamer Strasse).
Connection with public transport: U1 Kurfürstenstr, U2 Bülowstr, U7 Kleistpark, Bus 106, 187, 204 or M85 and M48 stop at Goebenstr.
As well planned:
DEMONSTRATION on Tuesday, 25th of Nov. at 4.30pm at Hermannplatz
– Don`t forget your flashlights!! –
The 25th of Nov. as international day against violence against women is based on the killing the three sisters Patria, Minerva and Maria Teresa Mirabel in Dominican Republic. As partisans of a movement they were fighting against the dictatorship of Trujillo. For this fight they were paying with their lives. They were killed on a 25th of Nov. in the year 1960 by Trujillistas. Also the killing of Sakine, Fidan and Leyla on 9th of Jan, 2013 is showing that female partisans are still targets of extralegal executions.
Despite of international interventions the 26 year old Reynah Jabbari has been executed in October this year after years in in a death row, all because of killing her rapist, who has been a member of the secret service.
At least every third woman effected by violence
This year we like to attack the whole bandwith of women repressions, precisely warlike, violence against women on the run and in migration, domestic violence and violence in each social context against women.