Humanitarian Admission Programmes for Syrians in Germany (February 2015 – October 2015)

Since 2011, the civil war in Syria has led to huge numbers of displaced people and refugees. According to the United Nations, Syria is now the biggest humanitarian crisis since 1945. Syria’s neighbouring countries have admitted 4 million refugees on their territory. In contrast, only a small number of Syrians has found protection in Europe or other industrialised countries.

So far, Germany is one of the few countries which have accepted Syrian refugees in significant numbers in addition to its regular asylum system. Since 2013, three federal programmes have been launched, granting temporary protection to 20,000 people. In addition, 15 out of the 16 Länder governments have introduced programmes for family members (admission through private sponsors). A big advantage of Germany’s admission programmes is that they offer a save and legal entry to Germany whereas asylum seekers are in most cases forced to embark on the illegal and dangerous trip via the Mediterranean Sea. At the same time, Germany’s admission programmes show notable difference in terms of their conditions of access as well as the rights and obligations for relatives in Germany.

This research project features a comparative analysis of Germany’s humanitarian admission programmes. In doing so, the project seeks to contribute to future developments of humanitarian admission programmes in Germany and beyond. The research encompasses the analysis of documents and official statistical data, as well as expert interviews.

The project was funded by the Stiftung Mercator. The results were published in the fall of 2015.



Safe Access. The Humanitarian Admission Programmes for Syrian Refugees in Germany


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