Refugees in Need of Special Protection (BNS)

Berlin Network for Refugees in Need of Special Protection (BNS) – Identification and Investigation(BNS)

In 2008, the Berlin Network for Refugees in Need of Special Protection (BNS) was established. In cooperation with the Senate Department for Health and Social Affairs (SenGesSoz), it developed a three-stage procedure for the identification, ascertainment and care of particularly vulnerable refugees in Berlin. The procedure aimed to implement the requirements of the EU Reception Directives of 2003 (Directive 2003/9/EC) and 2013 (Directive 2013/33/EU) and is unique in Germany.

Moreover, the procedure aims to prevent serious chronicity of medical conditions, by identifying refugees with special needs as early as possible when admitted and quickly placing them in adequate care. Rapid stabilisation is a basic prerequisite for successful integration. In order to continuously develop this procedure, several projects have been carried out in different constellations of cooperation partners for different groups of people in particular need of protection. The network coordination is affiliated with the Zentrum Überleben (engl.: Centre for Survival) and currently consists of a total of seven non-governmental organisations in Berlin.

In addition to the coordination, the Centre holds one of two BNS specialist centres for traumatised refugees and survivors of severe violence. The goal of the specialist unit of the Zentrum Überleben is the implementation of the Reception Directive and, in this matter, the support of mentally ill refugees, the identification and documentation of the special need for protection, the determination of the individual need for help, placement in adequate care structures and a long-term counteraction of the chronification of mental illnesses. In addition, the project aims to strengthen the professional staff’s confidence in dealing with people in need of special protection.

Of particular importance for the project partners and the entire network is the close cooperation of government agencies and non-governmental organisations, as the care of vulnerable groups of refugees can only be ensured in agreement with political decision-makers and service providers.


Network partners

AWO Kreisverband Berlin-Mitte e.V.
Specialist department for the identification and counselling of refugees in particular need of protection and their supporters. Collegial and mobile counselling as well as taking indications/ notes in the shelters.

Berliner Zentrum für selbstbestimmtes Leben behinderter Menschen (BZSL)
Specialist department for (un)accompanied refugees under the age of full legal responsibility

Beratungs- und Betreuungszentrum für junge Flüchtlinge und MigrantInnen (KommMit-BBZ)
Specialist department for minors and unaccompanied refugees under the age of full legal responsibility

Kontakt- und Beratungsstelle für Flüchtlinge und Migrant_Innen (KuB)
Specialist department for single parents, pregnant women and women affected by violence

Schwulenberatung Berlin
Specialist department for LGBTQI+ refugees

XENION – Psychosoziale Hilfen für politisch Verfolgte
Specialist department for traumatised refugees and survivors of severe violence

Specialist department for traumatised refugees and survivors of severe violence

Sponsors and Supporters:

The project is funded by the Senate Commissioner for Integration and Migration with funds from the Senate Department for Labour, Social Affairs, Equality, Integration, Diversity and Anti-Discrimination.


Nicolay Büttner
Network Coordination Manager &
Political work and advocacy

Nour Al Hendi
Project Management Coordinator for the BNS

Consultation hours

Enquiries from clients or helpers to the specialist department:

Monday from 12:00-14:00
Wednesday from 11:00-13:00

Phone: +49 (0) 30 30 39 06 -69