Swiss web TV channel to broadcast in Ukrainian

Authorities have registered over 16,500 refugees from Ukraine in federal asylum centres like the one pictured here in Basel, which Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter and the head of the State Secretariat for Migration Christine Schraner Burgener visited last week. © Keystone / Ennio Leanza

Diaspora TV Switzerland launched a new service in Ukrainian on Sunday to help meet the information needs of refugees arriving from the war-torn country.

This content was published on March 27, 2022 - 17:45

The new service, which is supported by the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), will focus on explaining integration, health matters and the Swiss political system to the community in programmes that will be broadcast in Ukrainian every last Sunday of the month, Diaspora TVExternal link said on Sunday.

The programmes will allow the new arrivals to participate in what is happening in Switzerland, Marc Bamidele Emmanuel, director of Diaspora TV, told news agency Keystone-SDA. The online platform is relying on a small team of Ukrainians already established in Switzerland who work in journalism, healthcare and other sectors.

According to Emmanuel, a channel in Ukrainian was already in the pipeline but plans were accelerated once the war began. Diaspora TV broadcasts in 16 languages and is geared at immigrants in Switzerland.

Tighter checks on permit requests

By Sunday the SEM had registered some 16,500 refugees from Ukraine in federal asylum centres and granted a special protection permit S to 9,982 of them. A SEM spokesperson confirmed to Keystone-SDA a report originally published in the SonntagsZeitung that authorities had refused a total of 19 requests for the S permit by March 24.

The SEM told the newspaper it planned to tighten checks connected to S permit requests, including verifying the authenticity of passports. Checks until now have been limited to verifying the identity of applicants. The authorities are also looking to second staff from the federal customs and border security offices to work at the asylum centres.

In early March the Swiss government decided it would grant the S permit to people arriving from Ukraine in a bid to enable their rapid admission and skip lengthy asylum procedures. 

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