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Survey: NRW and Saxony-Anhalt for job requirements for refugees

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Survey: NRW and Saxony-Anhalt for job requirements for refugees

Berlin (epd). Several federal states have spoken out in favor of introducing compulsory work for refugees in their municipalities, including North Rhine-Westphalia, Saxony-Anhalt and Bavaria. This was the result of a survey by the “Redaktionsnetzwerk Deutschland” (RND, Saturday). The Saale-Orla district in Thuringia is planning to be the first district in Germany to enforce a work requirement for asylum seekers. Criticism of this came from a number of social associations and human rights organizations.

North Rhine-Westphalia’s Labor Minister Karl-Josef Laumann told the RND: “In terms of the labor market and social policy, it is to be welcomed if the people who come to this country get into regular daily routines as quickly as possible and have a meaningful job.”

A spokesman for the Ministry of Labor in Schleswig-Holstein told the RND that the obligations to cooperate provided for in the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act must be enforced more effectively. A nationwide obligation to work for refugees is certainly conceivable.

The Ministry of the Interior in Saxony-Anhalt also sees the regulation positively. A spokeswoman explained that work opportunities are an instrument that gives people who are not yet allowed to work the opportunity not to fall into inactivity.

Saarland’s Minister for Labor and Social Affairs, Magnus Jung, also wants employment for refugees, but on a voluntary basis: “The state has an interest in getting asylum seekers into regular employment as quickly as possible,” Jung told the RND.

Support for the local implementation of the regulation in the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act also came from Bavaria’s Interior Minister.

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Berlin, Brandenburg and Hamburg reacted negatively. “This sham debate about ‘compulsory work’ only serves the false narrative of ‘work-shy’ refugees,” said Brandenburg’s Integration Minister Ursula Nonnenmacher (Greens) to the RND. “Most refugees want to work quickly, but are often not allowed to do that in Germany.”

Hamburg also does not plan to compulsory work for refugees and referred to its own model for labor market integration: A program with an employment agency and job center has led to a positive trend, said a spokesman for the Hamburg social authorities.

When asked by RND, the states of Hesse, Thuringia and Saxony, where some municipalities are already implementing the regulation, stated that they had no plans to impose a uniform work requirement for refugees.

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