- €200 million to help tackle the issues of sexual abuse in migrant camps
- Migrant women and children have been targeted in a spate of attacks
- One German camp recorded 15 cases of sexual assault in one month
The German government is set to allocate €200 million to help tackle the issues of sexual abuse in refugee camps.
Migrant women and children have been targeted in a spate of attacks with one camp in the town of Gießen recording 15 cases of sexual assault in just a single month last year.
‘Many of the women in the camps are scared to speak out about what is happening – many of them are for example scared to be sent back home because of it,’ the Ministry for Families, Seniors, Women and Youth (BMFSFJ) spokesperson Verena Herb told The Local.
Working alongside UNICEF, the government’s new scheme will also provide training for staff and information for preventing sexual abuse in the camps.
The BMFSFJ will use zero-interest loans from Germany’s taxpayers, to finance the new moves.
Around €4 million of the funding will be used to create specialist centres which will provide care for refugees who have suffered trauma or torture.
‘Unfortunately we know that children and women in the camps are not safe from abuse and sexual assault. That’s why we have to make sure that they’re protected,’ junior minister Ralf Kleindiek said.
‘Not only measures regarding staff, but also structural measures have to be implemented such as lockable accommodation units and separate sanitary facilities.
‘For the children and adolescents we also need designated rooms to enable play and learning,’ he revealed.
Germany has one of the largest number of migrants sheltering in Europe after Chancellor Angela Merkel openly welcomed migrants to come to the country during the height of the crisis last year.
1.1 million asylum seekers entered the country last year with Germany defiantly keeping its border open whilst many of its neighbours chose to shut their borders.
The news of the hefty €200 million bill to protect migrants in Germany comes as the country ended a five-month run of falling unemployment.
Weaker retail sales at the start of the year have led to a slowdown in private consumption on which the economy is increasingly relying for growth.
It was the first month since last September the jobless total has not fallen, with unemployment figures remaining frozen.
DZ Bank economist Michael Holstein said Germany could no longer expect routine falls in unemployment.
A mild winter had supported employment in the construction sector, while many of the migrants flooding into Germany would struggle to find work.