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The right to family – for a humane asylum policy in Germany

A project from JUMEN e.V. - Menschenrechte in Deutschland
in Berlin, Germany

With its campaign „The right to family life – for a humane asylum policy in Germany“ JUMEN supports refugees’ right to family reunification, taking a law to court that violates fundamental and human rights.

A. Kessler
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About this project

Support JUMEN now – because human rights also apply in Germany and sometimes need to be defended in court.
With its campaign „The right to family life – for a humane asylum policy in Germany“ JUMEN supports refugees’ right to family reunification. To this end, we take a law to court that violates human and constitutional rights.

In March 2016, with the enactment of a widely debated set of legal changes – the „asylum package II“ – refugees with subsidiary protection status were legally excluded from family reunification for a period of two years. Subsidiary protection status applies to refugees who come from a life-threatening situation like civil war. In contrast to legally recognised refugees, however, individuals with subsidiary protection statues are not assumed to face a risk of individual persecution in their countries of origin. 

The regulation concerns a large group of refugees in Germany, mainly people from Syria. Since the changes in legislation, the number of those being granted subsidiary protection instead of refugee statues has dramatically risen – while the situation in Syria has not improved. In 2015, 99.7 % of refugees from Syria were granted refugee status. In 2016, nearly every second applicant from Syria was granted subsidiary protection only. Among them are many children, often forced to live apart from their families for more than two years. Especially in these cases, the general exemption of the right to family reunification violates the German Constitution (article 6), the European Convention on Human Rights (article 8) and the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

JUMEN wants to fight against these violations by employing the method of strategic litigation. With this legal instrument used in court, we aim to go beyond the individual case and bring about structural changes for a number of people. As part of its campaign „the right to family“, JUMEN supports carefully selected cases from all over Germany in court. These legal activities are accompanied by communications measures geared towards creating public awareness and to increase pressure on political decision-makers.

To make our campaign a success, we need your support. Funding will enable us to continue accompanying our cases in a responsible and professional manner through all legal instances and up to the German Court of Justice, as well as to manage an effective public advocacy campaign.

We currently estimate total costs of 58,000 EUR for the whole campaign, part of which is already covered through a grant from the „Bewegungsstiftung“.

More information on our work is at