Protecting Young Refugees in Germany

In 2015, more than 60,000 children and adolescents arrived in Germany as refugees without parents or guardians. And with over 2,000 minors arriving in Berlin alone, it was clear the government needed help protecting this vulnerable population.

The president of the Berlin Court of Appeals called on lawyers to act as guardians for these minors, and MoFo lawyers in Berlin responded without hesitation.

Berlin partners Kristina Ehle and Hanno Timner, counsel Felix Helmstäder and Julia Schwalm, and associates Jannis Werner and Jens Wollesen now act as guardians for seven children from the Middle East, advocating for housing, various governmental benefits, and preparing the children for the asylum application process.

For our lawyers in Berlin, acting as guardian is more than just the right thing to do – it’s personal. “I have three kids of my own,” says Felix. “I wondered how I would feel if my kids were in this situation.”

MoFo’s work advocating on behalf of the European refugee community was recognized with the grand prize in citizenship at the 2017 Global Legal Awards.

Read our Pro Bono Report to learn more about how MoFo lawyers in Berlin are responding to the European refugee crisis.