Provision of information on reception
The law imposes an obligation upon the authorities to provide general information on the rights and obligations of asylum seekers:
‘Within 15 days of the filing of an asylum application, the reception centre shall inform the foreigner, if possible in writing and in a language which he can reasonably be assumed to understand, of his rights and duties under the Asylum Seekers Benefits Act. With the information referred to in the first sentence, the reception centre shall also inform the foreigner about who is able to provide legal counsel and which organizations can advise him on accommodation and medical care.’
In practice, the initial reception centres hand out leaflets which contain information on where and when asylum seekers can receive advice or assistance. In general, though, asylum seekers are expected to contact social services in the reception centres to get more detailed information on reception conditions. Information about what kind of advice was handed out on the Covid-19 pandemic can be found in the AIDA country report on Germany 2021.
Since 2019, Section 12a of the Asylum Act ensures that asylum seekers receive free of charge counselling on the asylum procedure (see Provision of information on the procedure). This does not include information on reception conditions, however.
 Section 47(4) Asylum Act.
 AIDA, Country Report Germany – Update on the year 2021, April 2022, available at https://bit.ly/3XnN7RS, 111-115.