German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser welcomed the introduction of the funding program| Photo: Dursun Aydem/AA/picture-alliance
German Interior Minister Nancy Faeser welcomed the introduction of the funding program| Photo: Dursun Aydem/AA/picture-alliance

Germany's federal government has launched a funding program to establish new advice services for organizations that assist people in their asylum procedures. The service is intended to be completely independent of the authorities which are in charge of processing asylum cases.

Germany's interior ministry announced it would make €20 million available this year for eligible NGOs. Refugee charities can now apply for funds from the program to finance programs designed to give independent advice to asylum seekers and thus help them with furthering their cases.

The advice service provided by such NGOs is intended to ensure that asylum seekers are fully informed about the steps involved in the asylum process and to provide support and assistance during the entire course of the procedure.

The initiative is an extension of a new set of immigration and asylum laws that came into force at the beginning of 2023.

Refugee organizations and asylum charities have demanded the establishment of independent asylum advice services for years.

Read more: Germany seeks looser immigration rules for non-EU workers

Addressing individual cases

Interior Minister Nancy Faeser said that asylum seekers often have inhibitions about revealing details about their case or background to official agencies. She highlighted that this was the reason why the advice service for asylum procedures would need to be independent of authorities in charge of dealing with asylum cases.

As examples she cited people seeking protection who had specific requirement because they had been subject to torture of had fled their home country because of their sexual orientation.

Faeser said that with an independent advice service, their needs can be better addressed and taken into account in the overall asylum procedure. 

Read more: Asylum applications in Germany on the rise in 2022

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