The work of the Berlin Advice Centre for Migration and Decent Work (BEMA) in 2022: Facts and Figures
In 2022, the BEMA team conducted a total of 5,854 consultations on social, residency, and labour law issues with 4,185 clients from 113 countries. Through the labour law consultations, our clients were able to enforce over 100,000 euros in wage claims. The year 2022 had significant challenges in store: The war in Ukraine, which started in spring 2022, and the continuing Covid-19 pandemic required the team to adapt quickly, both in terms of expertise and practical handling of the situation.
Just as BEMA was able to resume in-person consultations and trainings, the war in Ukraine shook us in the spring of 2022. BEMA responded promptly to the new situation by creating a flyer on key aspects of labour rights for newly arriving individuals from Ukraine. This flyer helped raise awareness about labour rights among potential clients, as well as stakeholders and policymakers.
Due to structural barriers, refugees are a particularly vulnerable group on the labour market. To meet the increased demand for labour law advice and information, Arbeit und Leben hired two more colleagues to join the BEMA team in the summer of 2022, on behalf of the Senate Department for Labour, Social Affairs, Equality, Integration, Diversity, and Anti-Discrimination (Berliner Senatsverwaltung für Arbeit, Soziales, Gleichstellung, Integration, Vielfalt und Antidiskriminierung). Since then, they have organised the information and counselling service called Hidna Pratsya Berlin (Ukrainian for "Decent Work Berlin"), assisting the target group in asserting their labour rights and in preventing exploitative working conditions.