Call for more responsibility

By Christian BlockLex Kleren Switch to German for original article

The Luxembourgish organisations Caritas and Red Cross can imagine taking on more responsibility in the administration of accommodation centres for refugees. What their task is today, where communication is lacking, and how restructuring the distribution of roles with the state could look like.

The inconspicuous building on the route d'Arlon appears in plain grey. Only a small sign on the outer fence informs passers-by that it is a first reception centre for asylum seekers.

We meet Gwendoline De Matos and Christof Müller, who both work for the Luxembourgish Red Cross. She is in charge of the team at the Centre de Primo-Accueil (CPA), he heads the organisation's department for migrants and refugees.

Located near the Belair district, the CPA is one of the first points of contact in the country for people intending to apply for international protection in the Grand Duchy. This explains the increased security with cameras and a luggage scanner in the entrance area, manned by employees of a security company. In the back, we can see a quarantine area for suitcases and bags to prevent germs or pathogens from being carried inside.

In January 2020, the initial reception structure was opened in the former premises of a car dealership. But it could only fulfil its original purpose for a short time. First came the Covid-19 pandemic, as a result of which a quarantine centre for asylum seekers was set up in Mondercange. Then Russia invaded Ukraine, which triggered an exodus of millions of people – and posed huge challenges to the already stretched reception capacities in many European states. Luxembourg also had to improvise. The SHUK emergency shelter on Kirchberg and the Wanteraktioun were temporarily converted, while tents were used to set up the Tony Rollman initial reception centre near the Coque.

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