ONE OF US

Germany is helping refugees integrate by distributing Arabic versions of its constitution

Obsession
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Obsession
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Germany is open to receiving refugees—more than 400,000 have arrived already this year—and aims to integrate them to the German way of life. To help them do that, Arabic translations of the first 20 articles of the country’s constitution is being distributed in refugee centers.

Refugees will have to familiarize themselves with Germany’s basic laws (pdf), first passed in 1949 in the aftermath of World War II, featuring concepts such as freedom of religion, freedom of expression, and equal rights between men and women.

According to Reuters, vice-chancellor Sigmar Gabriel said the first 20 articles shape German culture and, by translating them, refugees can “learn the rules of the game of living together.” Gabriel also asserted the right to be gay in Germany, the separation of church and state, as well as a lack of tolerance to anti-Semitism.

Chancellor Angela Merkel has previously announced that refugees would need to quickly pick up the German language as well as find work. While migrants are set to boost the country’s economy, failure to integrate them could create a situation where many become a burden, dependent on state welfare.

There are clear benefits to the large influx of migrants—they can help deal with Germany’s skills shortage as well as their aging population. The government has called on companies to help speed up this integration and many have responded. This includes engineering giant Siemens who introduced a program, which includes internships, to help integrate refugees into German society.

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