3. Clothing and other non-food items

Introductory remarks

In line with the sections on housing and food, standards included in this section should be considered irrespective of whether applicants are provided with clothing in kind or in the form of financial allowances or vouchers. This means that if Member States choose to provide applicants with a financial allowance to cover the costs of clothing, this allowance should allow applicants to purchase clothing in accordance with the standards listed in this section. This is without prejudice to situations where applicants already possess sufficient clothing in line with the standards included in this section and thus do not need to receive additional clothing items. The term clothing as referred to in this section refers to both clothes and shoes.

In the context of this guidance, the term ‘non-food items’ refers to essential household items other than food, including for example personal hygiene products, cleaning and laundry products, bed linen and towels. In the context of school age applicants, non-food items also include school utensils.

The provision of non-food items should always take place while taking into consideration the family situation of the applicant. Specifically, the composition of the non-food items and the quantity provided should take into account the personal needs of the applicant in question.

  Legal references — clothing and other non-food items
  Article 2(g) RCD: definition of material reception conditions 

Standards and indicators

STANDARD 23: Ensure that the applicant possesses sufficient clothing.

Indicator 23.1: The applicant possesses sufficient underwear for a week without having to do laundry.

  • Additional remarks: The above should be considered to be a minimum of eight sets of underwear.

Indicator 23.2: The applicant possesses at least a minimum number of clothing items.

  • Additional remarks: The above should be considered to be at least five inner-layer upper-body items (such as T-shirt, shirt, blouse), at least three lower-body items (trousers, skirt, shorts), at least three items like a hoodie, sweater or jacket and two sets of nightwear.

Indicator 23.3: The applicant has at least two different pairs of shoes.

  • Additional remarks: This could include one pair of shoes for domestic use and one pair for outdoor use.

Indicator 23.4: Applicants are provided with clothing as soon as possible.

  • Additional remarks: Within a few hours of having been assigned to a housing facility, every applicant must be dressed in at least basic (provisional) clothing enabling them to move freely in all the accessible areas (both interior and exterior) designated for them.

Indicator 23.5: If any of the clothes is no longer usable as a result of wear and tear, there is a standardised way to obtain another item in exchange.

Indicator 23.6: Applicants possess sufficient clothes for babies and small children for 1 week without having to do laundry.

  Good practice with regards to the provision of sufficient clothing 

  It is considered good practice:

  • to avoid creating a ‘uniform appearance’ for all applicants (if clothing is provided in kind) as this helps to avoid stigmatisation;
  • to establish a ‘donation storage’ and connection with humanitarian NGOs for the purpose of acquiring and distributing used clothes.

STANDARD 24: Ensure that the applicants possess adequate clothing.

Indicator 24.1: The clothing fits the applicants reasonably in terms of size.

Indicator 24.2: The clothing is reasonably decent-looking and appropriate to the prevailing standard of the host society and the applicants’ background.

  • Additional remarks: Clothing items (except for underwear) do not need to be new, but should be in a good state.

Indicator 24.3: Adequate seasonal clothing is available.

  • Additional remarks: This means, for example, that the applicant should possess a winter coat/jacket, gloves, a winter hat, a cap, a winter scarf and winter shoes, where necessary.

        Good practice with regards to the provision of adequate clothing

        It is considered good practice to offer female applicants at least one veil as part of the set of clothes provided them, if requested by them.

STANDARD 25: Ensure that applicants have access to sufficient and adequate personal hygiene products.

Indicator 25.1: A list exists specifying which type and quantity of personal hygiene products applicants of a certain age and gender are entitled to receive.

  • Additional remarks: This list is clearly communicated to the applicants.

Indicator 25.2: Necessary personal hygiene products are at the applicants’ disposal, either through regular distribution in kind on a per capita basis or through the daily expenses allowance.

  • Additional remarks: In order to maintain personal cleanliness, hygiene and prevention of infectious diseases, basic hygiene products should be at the applicants’ disposal. Those should include, for example: toothbrush, toothpaste, toilet paper, soap, shampoo, shaver/shaving foam, sanitary pads, diapers and other hygiene products necessary for caring for babies.

STANDARD 26: Ensure that applicants have access to other essential non-food items.

Indicator 26.1: Sufficient bed linen and towels are provided.

  • Additional remarks: If the applicant is responsible for washing his/her bed linen, at least two pairs are provided to allow for replacing one with the other.

Indicator 26.2: Washing powder is available if applicants are responsible for washing their own clothes.

Indicator 26.3: Specific arrangements are in place for applicants with special needs.

  • Additional remarks: For example, this would mean that a family with an infant has access to a functional stroller and a toddler to a potty. Every child can use toys adapted to his or her age and in good condition. A person with physical disabilities or recovering from an injury or medical treatment can be provided with crutches, a wheelchair or other medical equipment whenever these cannot be obtained elsewhere (from other agents such as the public health system).

       Good practice with regards to the provision of access to other essential non-food items

        It is considered good practice to provide applicants with access to an ironing set and a hair dryer
        where necessary.

STANDARD 27: Ensure that children enrolled in school are provided with adequate clothing and school accessories enabling them to fully participate in all educational school activities.

Indicator 27.1: Children who attend compulsory school education are provided with adequate clothing for school activities.

  • Additional remarks: This could include school uniform where mandatory, as well as sports clothing and shoes.

Indicator 27.2: Children who attend school receive a school bag (backpack or other) and all items (textbooks etc.) required by the school free of charge.

Download PDF