The important first steps

By Christian BlockLex Kleren Switch to German for original article

When receiving and accompanying refugees, many factors influence whether they can succeed in making a new start in Luxembourg. A stocktaking of the preconditions reveals a mixed picture.

Living together as a family under one roof remains a distant hope for Merhawit* for the time being. The 29-year-old calmly describes her journey, the uncertainty that has been her constant companion not only since her arrival in the Grand Duchy. How she got on a plane to Greece with her daughter to leave her homeland behind. From there, her path leads once across Europe until she reaches her destination in autumn 2019: Luxembourg. Like around 2,000 other people every year, she applies for international protection in the hope of "being able to live here". But although her asylum application has been accepted in the meantime and her husband has also been allowed to enter the country as part of a family reunion, the family's situation remains complicated. Together with her daughter, the Eritrean woman has been living in asylum seeker accommodations for more than one and a half years, while her husband has to spend the nights in a homeless shelter. For the family to have a chance of starting over, they would need a place to live. But although Merhawit has already knocked on many doors, her search has so far been unsuccessful.

The mother shares this fate with many other refugees who have been granted international protection. Almost half of the residents of structures for housing asylum seekers have the status, but cannot find a place to live.

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