Social inclusion, Migration

Sanctionfree - The breadline is the breadline!


Who is behind this?

Helena Steinhaus

Sanktionsfrei n.e.V. (Sanctionfree)


Who is joining forces?

Mein Grundeinkommen e.V.


Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

Our main goal is to end the sanction practice in the German welfare system. On average every 4th person who depends on social benefit is affected by a sanction through the jobcenter: Their emoluments can get cut off by 10, 30, 60 or even 100 percent. In a rich European country we can’t afford to let people suffer from poverty.

Where will your idea take place?


Why does Europe need your idea?

40 percent of all objections against sanctions are successful. But only 5 percent of those who get sanctioned try waging against it at all. Mainly because they don’t have the legal knowledge. We will break this blockade with our online tools and help people to enforce their rights. With a growing number of refugees arriving in the German social welfare system, they are about to face language barriers in addition to the same hurdles as everyone else.

What is your impact?

We want to end this sanctioning practice. Our wish is to start a debate about a basic social care without sanctions. In Europe nobody should be living beneath the subsistence level. Next year everybody will be able to take action against sanctions with our low-threshold online tools.

When people who aren't native German speakers apply for social welfare, they are left behind by the system. They have to organize themselves to bridge the language gap. We want to change this.

How do you get there?

Right now we are running a crowdfunding campaign for 75.000 Euro ( If we manage to reach the threshold we will use the funds in order to build an online app with features like:

– corresponding with the authority via our service
– consulting chats with laywers
– funds for people who already got sanctioned to secure their needs
– automated objections against sanctions

To bridge the language gap for people who's mother tongue isn't German, we want to provide all official forms of the Jobcenter not only online, but in all European languages. Additionally, we want to provide the forms in Arabic.

With that we want to provide barrier free access to the German welfare system for all people who are coming to Germany from abroad, e.g. EU citizens and refugees.

What is your story?


Who are you doing it for?

Our core target group are the people who depend on social benefits in general and migrants and refugees in particular. But everybody is affected by the repression within welfare systems, which can foster bad working conditions and lower wage levels. We are just about to start in Germany as it is our country of residence. We hope that our project will inspire groups in other European countries to do the same.

What makes your idea stand apart?

There is no service such as ours at all. With the help of Sanctionfree everybody will be able to enforce their rights and not having to live underneath the subsistence level. We give practical help for self-help.

€ 20000,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 170000,-

Total budget

Major expenses

With the funding we are actually raising we can build the core platform. With 20.000 Euros on top we can provide the forms in all European languages and in Arabic, Farsi and some more languages that are spoken by migrants and refugees living in Germany. We are enabled to start a monitored crowdsourced translation process of all forms on our platform. In addition, we can technically include the implementation of right to left reading direction for Arabic and Farsi into our platform.



Idea created on March 8, 2016
Last edit on Oct. 30, 2017

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