Long-term refugees in Germany” “

The German section of Pax Christi has called for long-term refugees in Germany to be allowed to stay. The appeal was made on the occasion of Refugee Day, celebrated on 3 October. It was also backed by the Pro Asyl association which campaigns for residence rights to be given to so-called “tolerated” persons. These are refugees fleeing from wars to whom the right of asylum has been denied but who cannot be expelled, persons who cannot enjoy social rights, but who have nonetheless put down roots in Germany, children and young people who regard Germany as their own country but who can be expelled at any moment. There are some 230,000 of these long-term refugees in Germany, of whom some 150,000 arrived as long ago as 1997 or even earlier. The situation of these people is “irresponsible from a socio-political point of view”, declares the communiqué put out by Pax Christi, which appeals for them to be given “the prospect of secure residence, to enable then to live a life as human beings and with equal rights” and asks for appropriate legislation to discipline such cases. “In agreement with a broad coalition formed by church groups, trades unions, humanitarian associations, human-rights organizations and initiatives in favour of refugees”, Pax Christi also calls for a series of specific provisions and urges “the bishops and lay committees of the Churches” “actively” to support this “commandment of humanity”.

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