Is it possible to file complaints in accommodations?
As yet there is no consistent nationwide com-plaint structure for refugees and their supporters. Currently, different groups of per-sons address their complaints to various actors within and outside of shelters.
It should be possible to address complaints to all parties active within a shelter (management, staff, inhabitant representatives, external expert bodies or cooperation partners as well as volunteers).
Which higher-level actors can be approached?
Unless there are no formally defined complaint structures, the following actors are among the potential addressees of complaints:
a) actors capable of influencing political processes:
- regional and supraregional refugee and migrant self-organisations
- political interest groups (e.g. Refugee Council, ProAsyl, anti-discrimination offices)
- ombudspersons for refugees (e.g. in Cologne, Berlin or Hamburg, Baden-Württemberg)
- specialist services concerned with migration
- International Women’s Space Berlin (IWS) is a feminist political group of women with experiences of migration and flight. Among a variety of other things, this group collects complaints pertaining to refugee shelters.
- complaints from all over Germany can be send to the following email address:
b) actors with political responsibilities and decision-making power
- public administration bodies (e.g. Federal Refugee Office, regional authorities, citizens’ offices)
The “Minimum Standards for the Protection of Children, Adolescents and Women in Refugee Accommodation Shelters”, issued by the fede-ral initiative of the Ministry for Family Affairs, Senior Citizens, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) and UNICEF, demands the establishment of both internal and external complaint offices.
- Minimum Standards for the Protection of Refugees in Accommodation Shelters (pp. 16-17): www.unicef.de/informieren/materialien/mindeststandards-zum-schutz-von-ge- fluechteten-menschen/144156
- FHK project on complaint management and protection against violence: www.frauenhauskoordinierung.de/arbeitsfelder/flucht-und-gewaltschutz/projekte/beschwerdemanagement/
 The state of North Rhine-Westphalia constitutes an exception as it provides funding a complaint office in every state shelter. Moreover, the state has arranged for a supraregional coordination office, mobile controlling team as well as a round-table located at the state’s ministry of internal affairs.