Swiss compare their refugee policy in international context

Asylum seekers having lunch at a a temporary housing centre in Switzerland. © Keystone / Gaetan Bally

The Swiss government considers itself an established resettlement state for refugee despite the lack of humanitarian corridors or community sponsorship programmes.

This content was published on October 11, 2022 minutes

A study, carried out by the State Secretariat for Migration, compared its policy with other countries and analysed the Swiss instruments for accepting refugees.

However, the non-government Swiss Refugee Council has criticised the findings as too positive.

The study, published on Tuesday, points out that Switzerland takes in several hundred refugees from crisis regions every year and that Switzerland uses most of the instruments that other countries use to supplement resettlement.

Switzerland is doing more than other states by offering the possibility of applying for a humanitarian visas from anywhere, the study concludes.

Other points raised by the authors are the lack of humanitarian corridors - programmes agreed by the state with religious or other civil society communities.

Even if there are no actual programmes for community sponsorship, the SEM notes that this idea is already being implemented to some extent, the study found.


The Swiss Refugee Council welcomed the assessment in principle but criticised that the existing instruments are hardly effective because they are applied in an extremely restrictive manner.

This is particularly the case with the granting of humanitarian visas and family reunification, the NGO said.

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