Access to reception centres by third parties


Country Report: Access to reception centres by third parties Last updated: 05/06/24


Teresa Fachinger, Paula Hoffmeyer-Zlotnik and Marlene Stiller

UNHCR is entitled by law to visit foreigners, including those in detention and in airport transit zones.[1] Any restriction of access to reception centres for UNHCR would therefore be considered illegal.

There is no general rule for other third parties. Access of other organisations or individuals to reception centres can be restricted by house rules issued by the owner of the premises or by the management of the facilities. For instance, visits can generally be restricted to daytime hours, even for spouses in some facilities. In Bavaria for example, very strict visiting rules apply in some AnKER centres, whereby family members and lawyers must be announced 3 days in advance. There have also been cases in which NGOs staff or volunteers were banned from entering premises of reception or accommodation centres.[2]

In practice, the geographical location of reception centres can pose a considerable obstacle to visits due to their remoteness. In addition, many accommodation centres do not have an office or another room in which confidentiality of discussions between an asylum seeker and a visitor is ensured.




[1] Section(9) Asylum Act.

[2] For further information on restrictions during Covid-19 see AIDA country report Germany 2021.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection
  • ANNEX I – Transposition of the CEAS in national legislation