Will refugees receiving unemployment benefits be forced to work?

Media outlets have revealed calls by a major German party to force more than half a million refugees, who receive unemployment benefits, to work, amid human rights criticism calling for considering their conditions.

The “Christian Democratic Union” (the largest party in the country) called for forcing refugees to enter the labor market, noting that about 587 thousand refugees, from Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq and other countries, receive unemployment benefits, according to “Germany in Arabic” website.

It added that the total monthly costs paid by the government to this group of refugees amount to about 436 million euros, with an average of 743 euros per person, including cash payments and housing costs.

It mentioned that 321 thousand Syrians receive unemployment benefits, in addition to 112 thousand Afghans, 77,500 Iranians, and 25,900 refugees from other countries, namely Eritrea, Nigeria, Pakistan and Somalia.

It indicated that the aforementioned statistics belong to refugees who are “qualified for employment”, meaning that they can work at least 3 hours a day.

The source quoted Christiane Ludwig, a spokeswoman for the Federal Employment Agency in Nuremberg, as saying that these refugees can “get jobs right away”.

He continued: “Leading CDU politicians no longer consider it acceptable that hundreds of thousands of able-bodied immigrants should receive citizen benefits without being held accountable by the state.”

For his part, the spokesman for the internal policy of the parliamentary group in the CDU, Alexander Throm, said that Germany has received more than a million asylum seekers and protected them, we can be proud of this achievement.

He added in a statement to “FOCUS Online”: “We have to get these people into the labor market quickly. Employment is the key to integration,” he said, suggesting that these asylum seekers should participate in charitable activities as long as they do not have a job.

Last May, the Federal Statistical Office in Germany said that the number of Syrians who obtained German citizenship increased more than double and a half in 2022 compared to 2021, and they topped the list of naturalized foreigners.

Syrians ranked first in terms of the number of naturalizations, with 29 percent of the total naturalized persons in 2022, with 48,300 Syrians obtaining the German citizenship, more than double the number in 2021, which reached 19,000 at the time, and seven times what it was in 2020, which did not exceed 6,700.

The average age of Syrians who obtained citizenship was 24.8 years, with males representing two-thirds of the number. Before obtaining the German citizenship, Syrians stayed in Germany for an average of 4 to 6 years.

These calls are being criticized by some human rights organizations, who believe that it is necessary to take into account the economic and social conditions that refugees are going through before imposing obligations on them in the labor market.

This issue remains at the center of an ongoing debate on how to facilitate the effective and sustainable integration of refugees into host communities.

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