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“Safe Country” Lists – A Threat to International Human Rights?
“No Contracting State shall expel or return (‘refouler’) a refugee in any manner whatsoever to the frontiers of territories where his life or freedom would be threatened on account of his race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion.”
Article 14, Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees (1951)
“The Assembly is concerned that the measures adopted by most of the member states of the Council of Europe have somewhat weakened the effective application of the 1951 convention. Some measures envisaged by the European Union regarding common
migration policies may compromise the full and fair implementation of the 1951 convention.”
Recommendation 1525, Adopted by the Council of Europe’s Parliamentary Assembly (2001)
Fresh from the scars of World War II in 1948, the United Nations General Assembly unanimously adopted the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, proclaiming, among other guarantees, that “[e]veryone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.” However, the revisions in national asylum laws in the subse-quent decades suggest that what appeared to be an absolute, idealistic pledge on the part of the international community has been eroded by petty politics, competing interests, and global geopolitical concerns.
Using Germany as a case study, this paper argues that the substantive guarantees of the Declaration, reinforced in the 1951 Geneva Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees, have been subtly weakened through a series of procedural innovations over the past decade and half. In particular, we believe that policies adopted by Germany have finely but fundamentally altered the judicial considerations of asylum applications. In ag-gregate, the effect of these changes has been to sharply decrease the number of asylum seekers and the success of their applications.
In particular, this paper looks at two concepts known as the “safe third country” (STC) and the “safe country of origin” (SCO), first introduced into the German Basic Law as part of the so-called “asylum compromise” of 1992. We argue that the main effect of these changes has been to shift waves of asylum seekers to the outer borders of the European Union, a de facto system of burden sharing that has pushed much of the burden to the states least able to cope with it. As the European Union (EU) works to integrate the principles of STC and SCO into a common immigration and asylum system, the experi-ence of the German state provides a look at the potential consequences.
Asylum Law in Germany:
With the Nazi dictatorship and the Holocaust still vivid in their memories, the framers of Germany’s Basic Law provided for a liberal asylum regime. In particular, Article 16 of the constitution stated: “Persons persecuted on political grounds shall have the right of asylum.”
“When the German Constitution was first developed, it was very, very generous to those seeking asylum because of the memories of the Jews who wanted to leave during the Nazi dictatorship and especially after the introduction of the Nuremberg Race Act (Nürnberger Rassegesetze) in 1935,” said former Federal Commissioner for Foreigners’ Affairs Cornelia Schmalz-Jacobsen. “It was the only article in the constitution that dealt with others with others than German citizens.” After the economic crisis in the 1970s, unemployment rose across Europe. Lack of work presented a challenge especially for immigrants, catalysing nativism, the first rise of anti-immigrant sentiment, and calls for tighter borders. By the opening of the Iron Curtain and in the wake of the German reuni-fication that put the new German state at the edge of the European Community (EC), the generous guarantees of the Basic Law proved problematic, as approximately 440,000 asy-lum seekers came in 1992 to the country (compare with Figure 1), more than the rest of the European states combined. What one should know is that only a singulary percentage of the asylum applications were accepted by the German authorities.
Unsuccessfully, the country lobbied the EC to develop a burden-sharing mechanism that would more proportionately distribute the applicants among the member states. In 1992, the political passions fueled by the influx of refugees and over-dramatized media cover-age created the momentum behind constitutional reform. “The atmosphere was quite stormy at that time, and also a piece of the rule of law was lost there,” recalled Judge Percy MacLean, who sits on the Berlin Administrative Court. “The reason for this is a certain psychosis developed by the streams of refugees in the 1980s. One was afraid of being rolled over by the asylum seekers, because they did not know how to deal with the streams of refugees anymore. And the politicians have stirred up the fears instead of working against it; elections needed to be won.” As Sebastian Müller, a lawyer with the German Institute for Human Rights, points out, “you cannot win elections with asylum seekers.”
Article 16a German Basic Law
[Right of asylum]
(1)Persons persecuted on political grounds shall have the right of asylum.
(2)Paragraph (1) of this Article may not be invoked by a person who enters the federal territory from a member state of the European Communities or from another third state in which application of the Convention Relating to the Status of Refugees and of the Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms is as-sured.
(3)By a law requiring the consent of the Bundestag (federal parliament), states may be specified in which, on the basis of their laws, enforcement practices, and general po-litical conditions, it can be safely concluded that neither political persecution nor in-human or degrading punishment or treatment exists. It shall be presumed that a for-eigner from such a state is not persecuted, unless he presents evidence justifying the conclusion that, contrary to this presumption, he is persecuted on political grounds.
According to Schmalz-Jacobsen, politicians largely split into two camps, one that believed the influx could be dealt with by streamlining administrative procedures but leaving the Basic Law intact, and another calling for deeper reforms. “Some people thought we could cope with the problem without touching the constitution. Looking back, I have my doubts,” she recalled. MacLean, though, still believes that the constitutional change was not necessary. He argues that “instead of examining the procedures properly — the faster procedure instruments were present — one decided then to change the right of asylum. In my opinion, it was a deadly sin to touch Article 16. Our refugees were ac-cepted after the Second World War in all over the world and then it was also our turn to admit.”
At the end, the second camp won out, and a consensus for constitutional amend-ment — crossing party lines — emerged. While maintaining the original promise of pro-tection from persecution, the changes of 1992 broke Article 16 Basic Law down into mul-tiple subparts, including those introducing the STC and SCO concepts into German law. Though considered in more detail below, the two authorized the Bundestag to approve lists of countries from which refugees would face modified asylum procedures. For crit-ics, including Schmalz-Jacobsen, the amendments made a document outlining the funda-mental values of the German state too legalistic.
However, according to Dr. Christian Klos, personal counselor of Parliamentary State Secretary Peter Altmaier in the Federal Ministry of Interior (Persönlicher Referent des Staatssekretärs Peter Altmaier im Bundesministerium des Inneren), the changes were essential to provide the parliament with flexibility that the original language seemed to preclude. “In view of a proper wording for a constitution I don’t like the new Article 16a Basic Law at all, but it had to go in there,” Klos explained. “At that time , there was seen no other solutions other than to introduce it here.” A year later, the changes took effect, and the first lists of safe third countries and safe countries of origin were intro-duced through the German Asylum Procedures Act.
Though they are related in their logic, the principles STC and SCO serve two different roles and have had very distinct consequences for German asylum policy. In this section, we will consider them in turn, providing a brief overview of the legal definition, the rea-soning behind them, how the principles have worked in practice, and the criticisms of-fered by detractors.
The idea of so-called safe third countries finds its basis in the Dublin Convention, signed by members of the EC in 1990. Principally, the aim of the convention was to es-tablish a regime for determining which member state is responsible for handling which asylum seeker. On the one hand, the Dublin system makes sure that each asylum applica-tion finds a venue of adjudication; on the other, it also prevents potential asylum seekers from “asylum shopping” by attempting to choose the most hospitable state in which to seek protection. “There is no country of choice when you apply for asylum,” explains Klos. “The point is protection.” However, MacLean frames the decision a different way: Shouldn’t the asylum seeker decide where he or she wants to seek protection in, based on where he or she feels most protected, and is most likely to integrate successfully?
German List of Safe
Third Countries (1993):
(Appendix to § 26a Asylum Procedure Act)
• Finland *
• Austria *
• Poland *
• Sweden *
• Czech Republic *
* nowadays members of the EU
The list represents the parliament’s implementation of Article 16a Sec. 2 and 3 of the Basic Law. It does not include members of the European Community, which are already specifically listed in the Basic Law.
In Germany, the STC list provided the legal instrument for implementing the Dublin system. Under the law, any asylum seeker that had entered Germany through a STC (whether a country is a STC was determined largely by whether it was a signatory to the Geneva Convention and various European treaties on the treatment of refugees), is automatically turned back to that country without their asylum application being heard, if the third country had signed a special treaty with Germany. The reasoning, of course, is that if the applicant was already safe before entering Germany, there is little reason for them to seek further protection from the German state.
The amended Basic Law provided that every member of the EC would be consid-ered a STC, but also gave parliament the ability to expand the list to include other coun-tries. As a result, the first list included all nations bordering Germany. Since then, it has expanded as new states joined what is now the EU. For Germany, which suddenly found itself surrounded by safe countries, the practical outcome was startling: Under the law, every asylum seeker entering the country by land could be immediately deported. Those traveling by plane also faced unique challenges. According to regulations, airlines can provide transport only to passengers who travel with a valid visa, according to MacLean; asylum seekers, by definition, do not have one. “De facto”, he argues, “nobody can take the right of asylum.”
German List of Safe
Countries of Origin (1993):
(Appendix to § 29a Asylum Procedure Act)
• Bulgaria 2
• Ghana 3
• Poland 1
• Romania 2
• Senegal 4
• Slovak Republic 1
• Czech Republic 1
• Hungary 1
1 Members of the EU since 2004
2 Applicant for EU Membership
3 removed from German list in
4 removed from list in 1996 for 6 months.
The list represents the parliament’s implementation of Article 16a Sec. 2 and 3 of the Basic Law. It does not include members of the European Community, which are already specifically listed in the Basic Law.
The German system broke down the STC regime into parts. The first, described above, included countries deemed safe by “normative ascertainment” (normative Verge-wisserung). In addition, however, the law allowed individual judges to decide after a hearing whether the country through which individual asylum applicants traveled could also be considered “safe”, under the definition. In cases where judges concluded affirma-tively, applicants could immediately be deported, irrespective of the merits of their asy-lum application. According to Amnesty International, some seekers are even turned away at the border, even after they ask for asylum.
Four years after the amendments were adopted, two asylum seekers challenged the constitutionality of the laws before the Federal Constitutional Court of Germany. In a landmark decision in 1996, the Court upheld the general concept, providing broad criteria that lawmakers and judges had to use to determine whether a particular country could qualify as a STC. Generally, a STC had to adopt the Geneva Convention and European human rights treaties and provide a system for adjudication of asylum claims. However, the court had little choice, argues MacLean: Had it found the law unconstitutional, law-makers would have scrapped Article 16 of the Basic Law altogether. As Müller agrees and explains: “It was a political decision to change the right of asylum in its essential fea-tures. The Highest German Court’s hands were tied, there the right of asylum is not di-rectly protected by the eternity clause of Article 79 of the Basic Law. The court was in this respect under a kind of “pressure”, because they could not complain the change of the Basic Law.”
The application of the STC principle has not been devoid of political calculations, either, though on a much more global scale. Though the Basic Law and legislation pro-vided for the authority for deportation of asylum seekers to a STC, this could not happen without cooperation from the receiving countries. To secure their acquiescence, Germany began to negotiate a series of “readmission treaties” with neighbouring states, dealing with, among other things, the protections afforded to the returned individuals and guaran-tees that their asylum applications would be processed in accordance with international law (especially the Geneva Convention). In other sections, however, the treaties proved a forum for geopolitical bargaining. For example, to secure Polish support for a readmis-sion agreement, Germany promised to initially cap the number of returned asylum seek-ers at 10,000 annually. In exchange, Poland received DM 120 million, and a guarantee that its citizens would have the right to travel around Germany for up to three months without a visa. Germany’s 1994 readmission treaty with the Czech Republic was made largely on the same terms, though the Czechs received only DM 60 million.
The second change introduced in the Basic Law in 1992 dealt with another cate-gory of countries deemed safe by the German state. Under the German law, the so-called safe countries of origin (SCO) included states known not to practice political and reli-gious persecution; legally, all asylum applications of nationals from those countries were to be considered illegitimate, unless the individual applicant could prove that he or she had, in fact, suffered political persecution at the hands of the state.
According to Dr. Christoph Ehrentraut, a civil servant at Ministry of Interior’s Federal Asylum Office (Regierungsdirektor im Bundesministerium des Inneren), the es-sence of the SCO concept is a change to the burden of proof. “For us, it’s an indispensa-ble part of the procedure,” he said. Klos, too, argues that the instrument has only made asylum considerations better by allowing an over-taxed system to target those who are really in danger. “It’s not a method to exclude asylum seekers, it’s a method to expedite procedures, a more targeted approach,” he explained. “I still defend my case that if you focus your efforts on those who need protection, this is better for protection.” Since indi-vidual applicants from the countries deemed to be safe could still overcome the presump-tion by presenting evidence, both say the system has helped filter out frivolous applica-tions.
The 1996 court decision, while laying out specific criteria for the STC list, did not touch upon the SCOs. In fact, the German Basic Law spelled out few criteria for deciding whether a country of origin was, indeed, safe, allowing the members of parliament to use their own judgement in creating the list. According to the government officials inter-viewed for this paper, the most important consideration used to make this evaluation is the regular updates prepared by German embassies in those countries, which are com-piled by the Foreign Office (Auswärtiges Amt) into so-called country reports (Länder-berichte). Information passed on from NGOs working in these countries are also con-sidered. While they acknowledged the shortfalls of these reports, particularly the absence of on-the-ground experience, the officials stressed that they believe the reports provide an excellent overview of conditions within the nations. At the same time, they admitted that such reports are largely general, and may overlook particularly localized problems in cer-tain regions.
In many ways, however, the introduction of the lists has actually created new bu-reaucratic challenges that only prolong the process and make it difficult, according to MacLean. The readmission agreements, for example, establish slightly different rules to-ward each STC, requiring judges and attorneys to spend valuable time studying the spe-cifics of every case. Under Germany’s readmission agreement with Belgium, for exam-ple, the latter allows only Belgian citizens to be sent back. By comparison, Austria allows all asylum seekers that crossed its territory to be sent back for filing their application — as long as crossing took place within the previous four days. For those seeking asylum, often too poor to hire attorneys and lacking the most basic language skills, the system imposes very difficult challenges.
These challenges are exacerbated by the narrow time limits provided to appeal judicial conclusions about the application of the lists in individual cases. “A complaint must be submitted within two weeks and the appeal has to happen within one week,” Judge MacLean explains. “Because if one considers that one has months time for going to the court for every other procedure, and here it concerns fates, then this is a rather fright-ening speed and, in so essential questions, also an enormous restriction of the court.” He describes a particularly daunting process: “It begins mostly with the fact that the asylum seekers are frequently not familiar with the German language when they receive a letter from the Federal Office for Migration and Refugees (Bundesamt für Migration und Flüchtlinge) in German and need someone to translate it. Finding a lawyer who is willing and can handle a case in such short a time, and an affordable price, is a double burden. The attorney must investigate the asylum seeker’s entire story, which is often really diffi-cult, since the applicants may suffer from traumatic stress and lack the necessary vocabu-lary. If they err, or change one detail of their story, the courts often rule against them, calling their statements unreliable.”
Toward an EU System:
Since the late 1990s, Germany has been a leading proponent of expanding the STC and SCO systems across Europe as part of the EU efforts to develop a single, harmonized immigration policy. Last December, those efforts moved forward with an EU directive that provided the basis for integrating the concepts into the laws of member states. The directive tasked the European Commission with drafting a European list of SCO and a similar policy for “super safe countries”, to function like the German STC system. Cur-rently, however, only the SCO list is being actively developed. “There is a clear distinc-tion”, Ehrentraut explains. “For the safe countries of origin, you have an initiative for a list on EU level. On the safe third countries, you don’t even have that.”
Even for the SCO, however, member states remain divided. The Commission, for example, cannot agree on a draft list forwarded by EU Justice Commissioner Franco Frat-tini, which includes countries like Mali, Benin, Botswana, Ghana, Mauritius, Senegal, and Cape Verde. Critics pointed out that many of the proposed countries practice the death penalty and retain policies that oppose homosexuality. Mali, for instance, also prac-tises female genital mutilation. Another critical point was that only African countries were on the list. In particular, the draft has also been challenged by the European Parlia-ment, which has argued that it should play a role in the process and has forwarded about 200 amendments. Frattini has recently promised to extend the draft of the list on Asian and Latin American states and to think again about some of the African states, including removing Mali.
Klos argues that EU-wide lists remain essential for developing common standards and procedures, to assure that asylum seekers receive similar treatment in all member states. The problem, however, is that the EU directive does not provide for such uniform-ity. Under its provisions, the two potential EU-wide lists would simply supplement the national versions, not supplant them; states that had a list of their own at a time of adop-tion will still be allowed to use them, effectively ensuring that the EU proposal simply expands the concepts of STC and SCO to countries that don’t yet have them, without achieving the objective of harmonizing policies in states that do.
In many ways, just as the introduction of the lists in Germany was designed to forward an unrelated goal of reducing asylum figures, the EU initiative is also serving as a political symbol of solidarity in response to Euroskepticism driven by the failure of the EU constitution. “It would be a strong European signal to agree on a list,” explains Ehrentraut, who admits that the “harmonization effect in this directive is rather limited.” The danger is that, in using asylum policy as a political signal of cooperation, the EU may water down the very purpose of the directive: To protect asylum seekers. MacLean argues that European policy has already made the region impermeable to those in need of protection. “Today, Europe established a true fortress and it is an extremely dangerous undertaking entering the country [the EU],” he said. “One constantly hears how many humans come to death while attempting to reach Europe. That is actually nothing else than the Iron Curtain, one fought in former times. That could also be seen at the vocabu-lary which is used. In former times those who helped humans from the Eastern Bloc to arrive to Western Europe were called human rights defenders and, nowadays, they are addressed as criminal human smugglers, like in the GDR.”
As the discussion earlier indicated, the appeal procedures available to applicants affected by the lists are integral to affecting how the policies actually influence real peo-ple. The EU directive, however, provides for minimal harmonization of the appeals pro-cess, because few member states are willing to adapt their judicial systems. “It is true that the chapter on appeals is very thin,” Ehrentraut admits, “but it was the only consensus the member states could find.”
Consequences of Safe Third Country and Safe Country of Origin Regimes:
Apart from the original reasoning behind the changes, the introduction of the two princi-ples into the German law has had momentous consequences. In the decade and half since the implementation of the lists, the number of refugee applicants has fallen ten-fold. Though it’s impossible to separate the effects of the legal changes from other geopolitical events — asylum applications across all of Europe have fallen during the same period, as well — there is little doubt that the concepts of Safe Third Country (STC) and Safe Country of Origin (SCO) have had an impact. At the same time, they have also promoted bitter criticisms.
“Reasons of why the numbers go down in Germany and Europe have perhaps something to do with the improvement in several countries but have basically something to do with the policy of closing borders for asylum seekers in both Germany and the EU,” argues Ulrich Raiser, a researcher at the Office of the Berlin Commissioner of Integration (Wissenschaftler beim Berliner Integrationsbeauftragten). The reasons have to do with incentives: Any transit country included on the list of STC now knows that each asylum seekers that crosses its territory may be returned, bringing considerable expense; better, then, to tighten the borders to keep them out. “The lists are a legal and bureaucratic trick to keep refugees out of Germany and Europe” concludes Harald Glöde, of the Refugee Council Brandenburg (Flüchtlingsrat Brandenburg) and a former member of the Research Center for Refuge and Migration (FFM - Forschungsgesellschaft für Flucht und Migra-tion) in Berlin.
One consequence, known as “chain deportation,” has earned rile of non-governmental organizations. Germany may, for example, deport an asylum seeker to Switzerland, if it deems that the applicant travelled across its borders on the way to Ger-many. Switzerland, in turn, may deport the applicant to another neighbour, if it believes he or she had crossed that border earlier in the journey. Many of these third countries, including Poland (since its EU membership part of the Dublin II agreement) or the Uk-raine, also have fewer qualms about sending applicants back to regions like Chechnia, according to Julia Duchrow, an immigration law specialist at the Berlin office of Am-nesty International. Because each country has developed different criteria for determining which country it deems to be a STC, the phenomenon of chain deportation raises the risk of violating the principle of “non-refoulement,” or the return of refugees to their country of origin where they face persecution. The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, for example, has argued that iterative application of STC principles has significantly low-ered the level of human rights protections for refugees. “The Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) has expressed concern about the impact of readmission agreements on the right to seek asylum. In particular, UNHCR has ques-tioned whether persons subject to return under such agreements will have access to effec-tive and durable protection in the country of return, and has expressed concern about the use of such agreements to return third country nationals,” UNHCR stated in a 2005 re-port. MacLean agrees that such a danger exists. “Chain deportations can of course happen — the danger exists naturally,” he says.
Schmalz-Jacobsen, however, argues that the dangers of non-refoulement have been overstated. “This is a myth,” she said. “It might have happened in a few cases, but it were not so many.” However, aside from selected anecdotes, no organization that we know of has compiled an authoritative record of statistics on the matter. Part of the prob-lem, according to Duchrow, is that NGOs lose contact with most deportees after they de-part Germany, leaving the organizations unable to track their journeys.
The introduction of the use of STC has also resulted in the shifting of migration patterns away from Germany to the border states of the EU. Italy and Spain, in particular, have borne some of the biggest costs. In effect, the STC regime has proven to be the bur-den-sharing mechanism Germany had failed to get adopted at the European level. “In the mid-1990s, Germany asked the EU for a burden-sharing regime,” Klos explained. “This has changed since the mid-1990s and so we are more quiet now; this is no longer Ger-many’s position.” The problem, however, according to some NGOs, is that the countries now facing the biggest burdens are some of the newest members of the EU, those with the shortest history of commitment to international human rights norms and the weakest institutions for processing immigrants. As an attempt to address the issue, the EU has es-tablished the European Refugee Fund to compensate members bearing disproportionate costs; however, no formal method for sharing the burden is currently being considered, apart from programs to train border police.
Bringing the SCO list concept into application has posed practical challenges, as well. The biggest is the reality that “safety” is only a single sign post at the end of a spec-trum, and that few countries lie at either of the extremes. The case of female genital muti-lation (FGM), for instance, provides a case in point. In the 1990s, Senegal was temporar-ily suspended from the SCO list for six months after reports of FGM at certain rural re-gions. However, lawmakers faced a challenge: What to do with a nation state that, as a whole, is safe, but has pockets that may not be?
In response to the legal changes, many migrants have adapted. Many, for exam-ple, destroy travel documents showing that they had traveled through a STC or lie about their country of origin. In addition, the focus on stricter border enforcement has created a market for human traffickers, according to Glöde. “It’s a mechanism to criminalize cer-tain behaviors,” he said. “Until the 1990s, refugees could come by themselves; today, they depend on help to enter Europe, so we can see a politically produced form and mar-ket of commercial trafficking with partially very dangerous methods.” Those who man-age to cross the borders but can remain only illegally, face limited political rights and poor living conditions.
Of course, another important consideration are the normative changes the con-cepts have introduced into international law. One of the fundamental foundations behind the Geneva Convention and the Universal Declaration of Human Rights is that each asy-lum application should be judged based on its own merits. Both STC and SCO lists subtly change that system to stack the cards against certain cases or to make sure that the judg-ment is made elsewhere. But according to its supporters, the changes merely reflect the reality that modern states face a ceiling of feasibility in the numbers of asylum seekers they can absorb. None, they argue, change the protections for those who truly need them. “We fulfill our legal responsibility,” said Ehrentraut. “Every person that comes to Ger-many — and I have no reason to doubt that this is true for all Member States — gets a fair procedure.”
“[The Geneva Convention] became also a political instrument in the Cold War,” argues Klos. “Whether the same Geneva Convention would have been created in today’s geopo-litical atmosphere I’m not sure.” In many ways, the same criticism applies to the devel-opments in asylum and refugee policy in recent years. In Germany, constitutional reforms changing the procedural details of how the Geneva Convention is implemented, served largely as a proxy system for pushing the refugee burden to the peripheral countries, away from Germany, which in turn tighten their own borders. At the EU level, similar efforts to expand the STC and SCO concepts are being tied for a need for integration and the internal EU politics.
Countries may indeed be fulfilling their legal responsibilities, but however, as the experience of Germany shows, legal responsibilities are, by definition, a reflection of contemporary consensus enshrined into national and international statutes — and this causes still some resentments against these lists. The problem is that the Universal Decla-ration and Geneva Convention also committed countries to a social obligation — to pro-vide protection from those in need. As the “legal responsibilities” shift, these social obli-gations are slowly eroded.
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Elise Bittenbinder, Federal Working-Group of psychosocial Centers for Refugees and Victims of Torture (BAFF – Bundesarbeitsgemeinschaft der psychosozialen Zen-tren für Flüchtlinge und Folteropfer), Berlin, June 26, 2006
Julia Duchrow, immigration law specialist at the Berlin office of Amnesty International (Migrationsrechtsspezialistin im Berliner Büro von Amnesty International), June 27, 2006
Christoph Ehrentraut, civil servant at Ministry of Interior’s Federal Asylum Office (Re-gierungsdirektor im Bundesministerium des Inneren), Berlin, June 22, 2006
Harald Glöde, Researcher at Refugee Council Brandenburg (Referent des Flüchtlingsrats Brandenburg) and a former member of the Research Center for Refuge and Migra-tion (ehemaliges Mitglied des FFM - Forschungsgesellschaft für Flucht und Migra-tion) in Berlin, June 28, 2006
Oda Jentsch, asylum lawyer, Berlin, June 26, 2006
Christian Klos, personal counselor of Parliamentary State Secretary Peter Altmaier in the Federal Ministry of Interior (Persönlicher Referent des Staatssekretärs Peter Alt-maier im Bundesministerium des Inneren), Berlin, June 23, 2006
Karl Kopp, Researcher at pro asyl (Referent von pro asyl), Berlin, June 26, 2006
Percy MacLean, Judge at the Berlin Administrative Court, June 27, 2006
Sebastian Müller, lawyer with the German Institute of Human Rights (Jurist am Deutschen Institut für Menschenrechte), June 21, 2006
Ulrich Raiser, Researcher at the Office of the Berlin Commissioner of Integration (Wis-senschaftler beim Berliner Integrationsbeauftragten), June 21, 2006
Cornelia Schmalz-Jacobsen, former Federal Commissioner for Foreigners (ehemalige Beauftragte der Bundesregierung für Ausländerfragen), Berlin, June 21, 2006
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