About us

Soli­da­ri­ty City is a net­work of orga­ni­za­ti­ons and indi­vi­du­als for­med at the end of 2015. Making Ber­lin a Soli­da­ri­ty City means secu­ring access to city ser­vices for peop­le with restric­ted or undo­cu­men­ted legal sta­tu­ses.

We are inspi­red by the examp­le of Soli­da­ri­ty or Sanc­tua­ry Cities in Cana­da and the U.S. and are deve­lo­ping a cam­pai­gn in order to pres­su­re the Ber­lin government to move towards equal rights.

We are an orga­ni­za­ti­on of migrants, refu­gees, or undo­cu­men­ted peop­le, groups who are alre­ady pro­vi­ding ser­vices for peop­le in pre­ca­rious situa­ti­ons, and additional/other allies.

What is the Pro­blem?

In Ber­lin, thousands of peop­le do not have access to basic soci­al, eco­no­mic, and poli­ti­cal rights, becau­se they are denied the right of resi­dence, let alo­ne citi­zenship. Even a cer­tain legal sta­tus, often acqui­red against all odds, does not pro­tect you from fur­t­her exclu­si­on via ille­ga­li­za­ti­on and can still be pre­ca­rious and tem­pora­ry. A con­s­i­derable part of our socie­ty is left to live second-class or pre­ca­rious lives.

If you are in this situa­ti­on, you are forced to work in ille­ga­li­zed, dan­ge­rous, under-paid, and infor­mal jobs without access to basic rights (e.g. insuran­ce in case of an acci­dent) and without gua­ran­teed legal access to labour rights. You can­not report racist or sexist discri­mi­na­ti­on, exploi­ta­ti­on, and other cri­mes against you becau­se you do not have any legal pro­tec­tion. Fur­t­her edu­ca­ti­on is out of reach.

The­re are a lot of pro­blems with Ber­lin city ser­vices: Every insti­tu­ti­on requests docu­ments that peop­le without – or with a pre­ca­rious – resi­den­cy sta­tus do not have or are afraid to pro­vi­de. Most of the time you sim­ply will not get access to soci­al or medi­cal ser­vices. Often, you are con­fron­ted with a hos­ti­le bureau­cra­cy that does not help you but even tre­ats you in a humi­lia­ting way. If you are “undo­cu­men­ted” you run the risk of being con­vic­ted becau­se of resi­den­cy obli­ga­ti­ons, incar­ce­ra­ted, and/or in the worst case being depor­ted. All of this is worsened by lan­guage bar­ri­ers and a lack of effort by the insti­tu­ti­ons to pro­vi­de suf­fi­ci­ent infor­ma­ti­on. Most peop­le do not know about exis­ting rights and ser­vices (for examp­le, how to enroll their child­ren in school) and the­re­fo­re can­not exer­cise them.

Migra­ti­on poli­ci­es exclu­de a lar­ge num­ber of peop­le from active par­ti­ci­pa­ti­on; they cri­mi­na­li­ze and mar­gi­na­li­ze a signi­fi­cant part of our socie­ty.

What Do We Want?

We want safe access to basic ser­vices such as:

  • Health
  • Hou­sing
  • Edu­ca­ti­on
  • Equal legal tre­at­ment and pro­tec­tion from racist and sexist vio­lence
  • Labor Rights
  • Elec­to­ral Rights (in muni­ci­pal elec­tions)
  • Access to city admi­nis­tra­ti­on ser­vices

Infor­ma­ti­on about exis­ting rights has to be made acces­si­ble. Discri­mi­na­to­ry laws that per­tain spe­ci­fi­cal­ly to migrants have to be abolished.
We pro­mo­te com­mu­ni­ty buil­ding that is based on pro­tec­ting and sup­porting each other.

Our Visi­on

Allo­wing ever­yo­ne access to basic goods and ser­vices // a decent qua­li­ty of life and city ser­vices crea­tes a more demo­cra­tic socie­ty in which ever­yo­ne has equal rights. Let’s make Ber­lin a Soli­da­ri­ty City!