Meeting of the Russian guests with lawyer Rolf Stahmann at the German Bar Association
Meeting of the Russian guests with lawyer Rolf Stahmann at the German Bar Association

On 28 and 29 September 2017 the IRZ organized a study trip to Berlin as part of the bilateral cooperation with the Russian Federation covering the topic “Migration policy: regulation in the face of today’s challenges”.

The following persons took part in the study trip:

  • Vadim Korobov, first Deputy Head of the Head Office of the Investigation Committee of the Kaluga region,
  • Yuri Zelnikov, Commissioner for Human Rights for the Kaluga region,
  • Andrey Savinov, Head of the Office of the Law Academy of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation in Kaluga and
  • Oksana Shabarshova, Head of the International Affairs Department of the Law Academy of the Ministry of Justice of the Russian Federation.

The Russian guests took the opportunity for an intense expert exchange with representatives from different institutions in Berlin.

At the General Secretariat of the German Red Cross they discussed issues of the German asylum policy and the role of the German Red Cross. The meeting with the German Bar Association covered in depth the legal aspects and challenges regarding the protection of refugee rights, also in view of the relation between German and EU law.

The delegation exchanged experiences and gained an insight into the work of the “Zentrum zur Unterstützung der Rückkehr“ (ZUR) (return support centre), which opened this year. The ZUR coordinates collective deportations and provides passport documents, especially in problematic cases, and clarifies identities. The ZUR also processes specific individual cases, e.g. of so-called “Gefährder” (potential terrorist attackers) or habitual offenders who are obligated to leave the country.

The Berlin State Office for Refugee Affairs (LAF) is responsible for registering, providing benefits for and accommodating refugees in Berlin. At the LAF, the delegation learned about the individual steps from registration via security screening to the provision of social benefits. They also learned about the challenges in the daily work at the LAF.