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Decentralise accommodation now! – For the right on distance

To the mayor of Rostock, Claus Ruhe Madsen, the senator of social affairs, Steffen Bockhahn, and the social welfare office of Rostock:

Even the refugees who belong to the most at-risk groups have to share bathrooms and kitchens with multiple other people in the accommodations at Satower Straße and Langenort. A refugee accommodation can be considered to be representative of a society. There are young and old people, healthy people and others, who have a weakened immune system or a chronic lung disease. While measures such as a ban for visitors have been taken, these cannot guarantee a total isolation from potentially infected people. Of course, the residents who supply themselves with groceries continue going out to the stores to do so – and that must not cease to be allowed. Hermetically closing off an accommodation from the rest of society is a deep and illegitimate interference with refugees´ most basic rights.

The city of Rostock recently announced that the partial occupancy in the city´s two refugee accommodations allowed the residents to keep the appropriate distance. This verdict sufficed for the officials to refrain from taking any action to get the people out of the communal facilities and accommodate them in an appropriate way.

Moreover, as senator and mayor announced, the affected people shall be redistributed in the short term, after a need was ascertained. But what exactly does that say? That action will only be taken after the the first coronavirus case has been detected in the accommodationsWe call on the concerned senator, Steffen Bockhahn, the social welfare office and the mayor of Rostock: Stop playing with the health of people you are responsible for. The right on physical integrity is common to all people, no matter their religion, statehood or status of residence. We demand you to provide appropriate housing for medically at-risk refugees. The current accommodations´ inhabitants should be redistributed in accordance to their right on distance. If necessary, use the abundance of empty hotels and holiday apartments to reach the capacity needed. Ensure that all of Rostock´s residents have the right and the opportunity to protect themselves from the coronavirus. 

Background info:

Many Rostock-based refugees are worried and do not want to silently accept the current situation any longer. They demand the same opportunity to protect themselves from the coronavirus everybody else has. For this reason, many affected people currently call for independent housing.

While at the moment most rooms are shared between two people, kitchens and bathrooms are often used by no less than six strangers. The shutdown of playgrounds also did not help to eliminate the possibility of children infecting each other. In both of Rostock´s facilities, keeping the required distance is practically impossible.This petition was initiated by many residents of the refugee accommodations in Rostock, their friends and a variety of supporters. Please help us win this fight and sign the petition!

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