No racist housing in camps for minors

The problem

Since December 2022, the social office has been accommodating underage, unaccompanied refugees in a gymnasium run by the Johanniter behind the airport – Despite the fact that there are free places in the regular initial reception facility! The city denies the young people urgently needed protection and access to important care, education and participation.  

Situation in the accommodation

A gymnasium should be used for sports and is in no way suitable as a safe shelter. The minors have no privacy or peace as the hall is only divided by light metal walls. These create about 4m² of space for several people. Mould in the showers, noise levels and parasite infestation endanger their health and their physical, mental and social well-being.In addition, there is the pressure exerted by permanent surveillance and control by security and Johanniter staff. Threats and coercion are common.

24/10/2023 — 5pm — Buntentorsteinweg 114 — tram 4 to Arsten — get out at the stop Schwankhalle
in front of Johanniter Begegnungszentrum

Bremen and the Johanniter

Bremen is the only state in Germany where young people are threatened with violence if they decide against transfers. The social office has the young people, who were entrusted to them, handcuffed and shackled by the police so that they can be deported. Every welfare organisation that runs camps and all social workers who do not oppose this violence make themselves accomplices. The violent treatment of the youths described above was too much even for the social agencies that had previously been involved in the “regular” system for refugee youths in undermining the standards of youth welfare. Johanniter recognized this as an “entry ticket” into Bremen’s social welfare system and agreed to go along with this ordeal without any expertise or experience in the field.The Johanniter are actively contributing to the further dismantling of youth protection and promoting violence against minors. Instead of helping the young people and thus doing their duty, they are lining their own pockets and making a profit from the camps. 

entrance to the territory of the gym, photo: TWAB

Camp system 

This place is not a “home” or a accommodation, it is a camp for the worst possible storage of people. This camp is a particularly dazzling expression of the systematic isolation and harassment of the social authorities and not an isolated case! In Bremen there are and have always been particularly bad camps, e.g. in Gottfried-Daimler-Straße – which had been closed thanks to protests. People seeking protection are exposed to systematic racist violence in these camps. 

Survivors and witnesses

Every week 11 children die in the Mediterranean trying to reach the EU. The young people in the gymnasium are survivors and witnesses to the greatest crimes currently being legally committed in the European Union: Deadly migration defence deals, pushbacks and the denial of sea rescue. The survivors need peace and (also therapeutic) support. Instead, they encounter a system of control and harassment from a senate that calls it “humanitarian refugee policy”.

We demand

1. the immediate closure of the gym. No camps, neither for adults, nor for children or youth. Nowhere. And no matter by whom they are run. 

2. No temporary custody (as it is called in the burocratic way) of minors: Young refugees must be given protection and access to full youth rights and not pushed around from one place to the next. Stop violent transfers. This practice of youth welfare is racist and must be named and fought as such.

3. Abolish forced accommodation as a racist system. Access to houses for all.

4. Europe don’t kill! Open the borders. We have space.