Building Knowledge for a Concerted and Sustainable Approach to Refugee Resettlement in the EU and its Member States

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Evaluation Report of Resettlement in Schleswig-Holstein

Evaluation Report of the Resettlement Programme in Schleswig-Holstein from January 2009 to 2011

The document below is an evaluation of the recent resettlement programme for Schleswig-Holstein. It is linked below for German speakers. Unfortunately, the report is only available in German. The Know Reset Country Collaborator for Germany, Manuela Scharf, has summarised the document in English.

Evaluation of the Resettlement of Iraqi refugees in the Province of Schleswig-Holstein

The Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (BAMF - Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge) was responsible for selecting refugees deemed suitable for resettlement. This decision was taken on the basis of suggestions made by the UNHCR. Amongst the most important criteria for selection was the inability to successfully return to Iraq at a point in the future. That there was no possibility of integration in the state of first asylum was also an important criterion. The programme excluded refugees who had a criminal record and those who had supported the regime of Saddam Hussein. Other factors were taken into consideration such as education and knowledge of German, in order to more easily facilitate integration.  People with a special need of protection were given priority. Families were given special preference in order to facilitate family units being kept together. The selected refugees were granted a residence permit for three years which also entitled them to work in Germany. On the basis of UNHCR suggestions, members of the BAMF in Syria and Jordan carried out interviews with the candidates for resettlement and the IOM organised health examinations. When they were admitted to the programme they were given an information sheet with information on the duration of the flight, the immigration procedure, their legal status in Germany and other practical information. Their transfer was first to Hanover which was organised and financed by the Federal State.

According to the Königsteiner Key, Schleswig-Holstein received 83 refugees, 56 of which from Syria and 27 from Jordan. They arrived in the province between May 2009 and April 2010 and were distributed to the various cities and municipalities, because Schleswig-Holstein had decided on a system of decentralized reception. This means that they were taken to their final destinations immediately instead of another, initial, reception centre. In 2010 and 2011 the Land carried out a survey of the cities and municipalities in an attempt to collect data on the integration, the language acquisition and the opinion of the refugees themselves. While in the first survey all of the relevant information was collected, in 2011 only 68,25 % of questions were answered. Another problem arose that certain local authorities did not have new addresses for the refugees in cases where they had moved. According to the evaluation in 2010 none of the refugees had found employment, while in 2011 one had been registered as employed. By the end of 2010, 20 persons had finished the integration course, 3 more had signed in.

During the interviews with some refugees, the authorities discovered that before their departure the refugees had different experiences of the selection procedure. Some refugees had been informed about their admission to resettlement six months before their departure; others had only been informed of their impending departure two weeks beforehand. Also the amount of information offered to the refugees differed and some explained that they did not consider the information they had been given beforehand as sufficient. Once arrived in Schleswig-Holstein, most refugees were not happy about their living place, and indeed around 50% had already moved. Many had indicated that work is hard to find in Schleswig-Holstein and even harder as a foreigner. For 15% another problem was the connection to public transport in their new home towns. Another conclusion of the evaluation was that the communication between the official authorities and the consultation services should be improved.

In general the evaluation considered the resettlement as successful with some elements that have to, and will be, improved.

Files attached to this content:

Evaluation Report of the Resettlement Programme in Schleswig-Holstein from January 2009 to 2011 - German Version

Germany snapshot

Size: 356,854 km2

Population: 82 million

Year of EU Entry: 1952

In the Schengen Area: Yes

Protection Status Granted: 9,675 (2011)

Resettlement Scheme: Programme to be implemented in 2012-2014

Resettlement Quota: 300 refugees/year

Resettled Refugees: 200 (2012)

Source: The information about the size, population, in the Schengen area, and year of EU entry is taken from