1.8. Communication equipment and services

Introductory remarks

Communication plays an important role for applicants for international protection throughout the reception procedure. The term ‘communication’ includes both communication concerning the applicants’ procedural status and private communication, for example with family members. Importantly, adequate access to communication can contribute to the mental health of applicants as it can help to prevent anxiety resulting from lack of contact with family members and friends left in the country of origin or in transit or inadequate access to communication with organisations providing legal aid or other relevant services. In any case, applicants should be able to be given notice of the decision via post where appropriate.

  Legal references — communication equipment and services
  Article 18(2)(b) RCD: modalities of material reception conditions

Standards and indicators

STANDARD 18: Ensure that applicants have adequate access to a telephone to make calls concerning procedural, legal, medical and educational issues.

Indicator 18.1: Access to a telephone is possible at least for calls concerning procedural, legal, medical or educational issues.

Indicator 18.2: Applicants have daily access to at least one telephone per housing unit.

  • Additional remarks: The number of phones to be installed in the premises will depend on the number of applicants residing in them.

Indicator 18.3: Applicants can take calls in a private setting, i.e. other applicants cannot hear the conversation.

STANDARD 19: Ensure that applicants have adequate access to the internet.

Indicator 19.1: Applicants have access to the internet in the housing itself or in the nearby public space at least four times a week.

  • Additional remarks: Access to the internet in the housing can be facilitated either through the availability of wireless network (wi-fi) for applicants with their own communication devices (e.g. smart phones) and through the availability of an adequate number of computers for a set number of persons. If access to the internet is provided outside the housing, this should be available within walking distance or by using public transport (cf. Standard 1: Location). Internet access does not have to be available free of charge (cf. Indicator 28.4: Daily expenses allowance).

STANDARD 20: Ensure applicants have the possibility to charge their communication devices.

Indicator 20.1: There is at least one plug available and accessible per bedroom to charge up electronic devices.

   Good practice with regards to facilitating access to                       communication equipment and services

   It is considered good practice:

  • to provide applicants with the possibility to copy or print documents relevant for the asylum procedure or medical issues free of charge:
  • to facilitate access to a television with channels in at least two languages most widely spread among applicants in the particular housing (cf. Indicator 13.1: Common areas).
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