On 5 June 2016, a Swiss referendum approved the amendment of the Asylum Act with a view to a substantial restructuring of the asylum system. The reform will introduce a country-wide accelerated procedure, modelled along the Testphase procedure piloted in Zurich, entailing shorter time-limits to complete the examination of asylum claims but also free legal assistance and representation throughout the process.
The Swiss Refugee Council, an ECRE member, stresses the need to link accelerated procedures with more rapid integration of asylum seekers in host communities, highlighting that “Switzerland is in urgent need of an investment in integration.” To that end, language courses and vocational training should be provided to asylum seekers from the start of the procedure.
For more information, see:
- Swiss Refugee Council, Un OUI à des procédures d’asile équitables et correctes, 5 June 2016, available in French.
- AIDA, Switzerland: Asylum restructuring put to referendum in June, 13 April 2016.