Two girls* centres shut down because of private Instagram posts

Information Letter from the Frieda Frauenzentrum


Dear colleagues, dear civil society,

As some of you may have noticed, the Friedrichshain-Kreuzberg district office announced, in its press release no. 87 on Friday, 19.04.24, the closure of the two girls* centers Alia and Phantalisa in Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg by the youth welfare office. At the same time, we, Frieda Frauen*zentrum e.V. as the sponsoring organization of Alia and Phantalisa, were informed of the “extraordinary termination with immediate effect“ of the service contracts for both girls* facilities.

In addition to the many expressions of solidarity we received, we were also asked about the reasons for the abrupt termination. We think, the best way is to keep this transparent and share the termination letter with you (see attachment page 2).

We are shocked: On the one hand, about the spying on employees‘ private Instagram accounts. On the other hand, the responsible district councilor only needs defamatory press reports to end years of cooperation with the youth welfare office from one day to the next without prior notice and to order the closure of the two facilities.

We find the fact that our employees are being monitored on their private social media profiles and that the exercise of fundamental rights outside of their working hours, e.g. participation in demonstrations, is being profiled and apparently criminalized, worrying and calls into question the very democratic values to which we are committed in our work both as an association and as social workers. Furthermore, it is incumbent on a state governed by the rule of law, as well as an administration bound by the law, to make its decisions on the basis of fair procedures in which those affected are heard. In this case, however, ad hoc action was taken on the basis of unsubstantiated allegations and questionable surveillance methods.

We have a well-founded fear that we have fallen victim to the pattern of repression and intimidation, as already covered in the media, that is currently affecting people who show solidarity with the Palestinian people and who want to avert a genocidal catastrophe.

The abrupt closures of our girls* facilities in Friedrichshain and Kreuzberg affect the only queer-feminist projects in the district that offer intersectional services, support and protection, especially for migrant girls* and young women*. We will not accept the closure of queer-feminist projects and will take legal action against it.

Social work promotes social change, social development and social cohesion as well as strengthening people’s autonomy and self-determination. The principles of social work are social justice, human rights, shared responsibility and respect for diversity. When state surveillance measures restrict the work of social workers and repression is experienced on an individual level, social work as a whole is impaired.

These interventions in the field of pedagogical and social work not only harm democracy, but also harm the open and progressive development of society. Frieda Frauen*zentrum e.V. is not the first association to be affected, nor will it be the last.

We share these worrying events because we see a collective and social responsibility to protect democratic values and actively stand up for them together!

Frieda-Frauenzentrum e.V.


Instagram: @frieda_frauenzentrum

This information letter first appeared on the Frieda website