[FR] Shameful conditions in Freiburg's BEA

FR: Zelterweiterung an der BEA

On Saturday, 5th of September 2015, in Freiburg a Bedarfsorientierte Erstaufnahmestelle (BEA) for possibly up to 900 Refugees (at the moment: more than 500) was put into operation. From the first day on, NoLager Freiburg is on site – in the beginning via 2 „Welcome tents“ on a wasteland just opposite the BEA (evicted by police after 3 days), then via an information desk on the sidewalk just next to BEA. Even during this short while, we could document structural nuisances reported to us by the refugees in a number and extend that are most shameful.


Site, operating company and security service

The camp consisting of three large tents, sanitary and social service containers, and a littleasphaltic area is surrounded by a high fence with barbed wire. It is operated by the profit-oriented company „European Homecare“ (profit in 2013: 1.4 Mio €). Some of the Refugees have to wear signal-coloured wristband they say are making them feel ashamed. External persons/critical publicity is not allowed to enter the site. The security service members open up the fence for every Refugee and close it again behind them. Many didn't know during the first days that they are allowed to leave the site.


No money – a violation of the laws

Refugees at the BEA do not receive any money, but only non-cash.This is a clearviolation of their rights. According to AsylbLG they are entitled to € 143 per month (for single adults). This also applies for those not having made their asylum application yet and even if due to administrational overload they are not yet registered formally. Their only way of getting hold of any money is to work for € 1,05 (a fractional amount of the lawful minimum wage) in so called public utility. That means, to do cleaning jobs within the BEA. A bargain for European Homecare.


Distribution of goods

The Refugees are only given the most basic needs for the nights. Nothing of the extensive donations from Freiburg's population has reached them yet. Many only have the clothes they are wearing, and are cold in the evening/at nights. There is a great scarcity of articles like shampoo, shower gel, sanitary products for women, earplugs and underwear.



5 to 9 persons are sleeping in a so called „cell“ with a size ofa couple of square meters that is confined by thin dividing walls. In at least one of the tents, there is also a larger area without dividing walls, where there are free standing bunk beds arranged in rows. Each person has a metal closet (not lockable). So people have neither privacy nor a place where to store private items safely.

There seem to be only eight showers. We have been told that at times there is no warm water and that some people are disgusted by the dirty facilities.

There are some plastic chairs scattered in the sleeping area and about 170 sitting places at the meal place, what makes less that one seat per person. There's a small asphalted area towards the street, where soccer is played occasionally. There are no other free spaces to spend free time.

Taking into account the difficult situation of the asylum-seekers, we consider the crowded narrowness in that people from most diverse social backgrounds are forced to live together as a massive potential for conflicts that will hardly be solved by employing some social workers.


Food supply

The refugees cannot prepare their own food in the BEA, they have to eat what is offered to them by the canteen. Meal times are as following: breakfast 8-10, lunch 12-14, dinner 16-18. Especially in the evenings, people have told us, they're soon hungry again. For some the portions aren't sufficient.


Medical care

It seems there hasn't been a doctor at the BEA during the first days. There were roumors that for one day, a doctor from Heidelberg came. Asylum-seekers told us about sick children that weren't given medical care. We assume, that at least temporarily there are no other contact persons for instance in case of medical problems than the (mostly male) security guards.


Women, children, pregnant/breastfeeding women

The situation in the BEA, as in other camps, is especially dramatic for women and children. There are no retreat rooms for breastfeeding and to provide protection of (sexual) harassment. Before the BEA was opening, we were told by RP, that „the number of women will be too small to especially take them into considertaion“. The relevance of safer spaces however increases as the number of women is smaller.

There also is no playground or free space designated for children to play.

It seems to be forbidden to use a water cettle in the BEA and thus it is not possible to streilize things by boiling them or toheat baby food. Also, it seems that so far no babyfood has been given out. An independent mid-wife was denied entry to the BEA, but she could come in contact with pregnant and breastfeeding women. A women with untimely labour was given paracetamol by a doctor who was there for one day and sent away.



People are hardly giving any information regarding their situation, the place they're in, an their rights and duties in the asylum process. Whether this is caused by insufficient translation or the information actually isn't provided, we cannot say. There is also lack of clarity what area is included in the Residenzpflicht. There are no proposals for acquision of German language skills. In the first couple of days there was, although warranted beforehand, no w-lan in the BEA. Activists of the initiative „FreiFunk“ that alsoprovides free w-lan in camps in other cities, installed a router, that apparently has been removed again.



The camp system is expensive, massive humanitarian deficits are accounted for structurally. It causes massive restrictions of people's freedom of movement and personal rights. These are humans who want to live self-determined lives and are now thwarted for an indefinite time by a boureaucracy aiming at deportation.


We demand an end to the criminalization of those who are fleeing, the creation of safe escape routes to Europe and the naming and elimination of German/European entanglement in global reasons of flight.


No Lager – not in Freiburg, not in Röszke and also at no other place!