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Human rights for refugees! Rally in Sigmaringen on July 10, 2021

Picture: Bernhard Schmidt (left) from the Friends of Refugee Aid and refugee Okoroe Faith Chigozie (right) raise their voices for more human rights. (Photo: Peggy Meyer)

A handful of refugees and a few more members of the Friends of Refugee Solidarity wanted to draw attention to the situation of refugees in the state initial reception centers (LEA) on Saturday morning on Leopoldsplatz. In doing so, they particularly emphasized one demand: the granting of basic human rights to refugees as well, in order to become a recognized part of society.

The initiative for the event came from the refugees themselves, in conjunction with LEA Ellwangen, among others. They received support from the Friends of Refugee Solidarity, a relatively young association. Its member Bernhard Schmidt summarizes: "The refugees want to be accepted like everyone else, they want to work, get involved and be able to move freely, just live normally." Many did not leave their homeland voluntarily, but fled because of hunger, war or natural disasters have to.

A poster reads: We are refugees, not criminals! Other posters include demands such as training, German courses, freedom, out of the LEA, work and pocket money. Schmidt says that there are differences among the refugees in terms of the offers of work, courses or the amount of pocket money - depending on the perspective of staying. This also leads to divisions within the refugees. "Fighting for human rights" - fighting for human rights - these words are repeated by Okorie Faith Chigozie over and over again. The 29-year-old Nigerian came to Germany four years ago and now lives in a refugee camp in Salem. His German is brittle, so far he has been denied school and work. “I would like to learn German and work,” he says. This wish could soon come true, at least for him: two days ago he received mail from the authorities.

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