Minister calls for credible asylum policy

Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga has called for a more consistent and humanitarian policy for asylum seekers.

This content was published on January 20, 2011 minutes and agencies

Speaking at the Swiss Asylum Symposium in Bern on Thursday, Sommaruga said Switzerland must preserve its humanitarian tradition while enforcing the law.

The current asylum policy had too little support from the general public, she said.

"Although asylum policy isn’t undergoing a major crisis in my view, there’s a need for action," Sommaruga said, pointing out that procedures took too long and were difficult to enforce.

She said she was also concerned about the lack of integration concerning the applicants and called for hearings to be as short as possible, ensuring fairness.

The symposium was organised by the Swiss Refugee Council and the United Nations refugee agency.

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