From Arrival to Participation in Society: How Refugees View Their Lives in Germany (February 2016 – December 2017)

As a result of the rising number of refugees in Germany, policymakers, government authorities and civil society are confronted with the challenge of streamlining reception processes, providing adequate living conditions and encouraging social integration. But one voice is usually missing in the debates – the voice of the refugees themselves. Reliable information about their living situations, however, is urgently needed not only to tailor the asylum and reception system to meet their needs, but also to reshape the opportunities for social participation and de-emotionalise the public debate.

The aim of the research project was therefore a scientifically based description of the current living situations of refugees in Germany from their own perspective. In qualitative interviews in several federal states (Laender), insights were collected on the needs and expectations of the refugees, what resources they bring with them and how they perceive their current living situation as well as their health and well-being. The study focuses on people with an uncertain residence status who have recently arrived in Germany. Based on the findings, recommendations for how to improve refugee reception and integration were developed that are relevant for policymakers at the federal, state and local levels as well as for government and civil society actors engaged in work with refugees on the ground.

The study was conducted by the Expert Council’s Research Unit and the Robert Bosch Stiftung. The results were published in November 2017.

Publications


Summary

How might integration succeed? Asylum seekers about their life situations and participation perspectives in Germany


 

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