Refugees as Potential Witnesses of International Crimes


Guidelines for Social Workers and Care Providers in Germany

The project "Refugees as potential witnesses of international crimes" establishes itself within the current refugee crisis in Europe. Staff members of social welfare institutions and volunteers often work with refugees/asylum seekers from conflict areas who have been victims or witnesses of violence. Certain types of violence amount to international crimes that fall within the international jurisdiction. This means, on the one hand, that refugees/asylum seekers might act as witnesses in future criminal proceedings. On the other hand, many social workers and care providers are confronted with information about such crimes in informal settings, having neither the necessary understanding of international criminal law, nor the knowledge of possible usage and handling of such information.

The Nuremberg Academy seeks to provide social welfare institutions with information on the significance of these circumstances for refugees/asylum seekers, as well as the employees and volunteers working with them. The goal is to develop a set of guidelines that refugee workers can use. To this end, the Academy, in cooperation with the City of Nuremberg, has conducted a pilot project in Nuremberg that included researching the needs of the different organizations involved and developing and testing draft guidelines. As a result, the Academy has published these Guidelines to provide social workers and care providers with the necessary understanding and knowledge to be able to assist refugees/asylum seekers should they choose to divulge this information to them.

Guidelines are available to download in English and German below.


Refugees as Potential Witnesses of International Crimes: Guidelines for Social Workers and Care Providers in Germany
Geflüchtete als potenzielle Zeuginnen und Zeugen von Völkerrechtsverbrechen: Leitlinien für die Soziale Arbeit und Betreuung in Deutschland