Differential treatment of specific nationalities in detention


Country Report: Differential treatment of specific nationalities in detention Last updated: 30/06/23


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There is no information on specific nationalities being more susceptible to detention or systematically detained, or otherwise treated differently than others. Nevertheless, the detention of Eritrean nationals for the purpose of removal to their country of origin deserves a comment. In this case, removal is technically possible only in the form of ‘voluntary return’, namely with the consent and compliance of the person involved. The Swiss Refugee Council is aware of the practice in some cantons of detaining Eritrean nations in the attempt to force them to collaborate with their own deportation. Although coercive detention (Article 78 FNIA) allows detaining people when deportation cannot be enforced due to their own behaviour, this practice is very problematic since administrative detention can be proportional and lawful only when the removal is possible and foreseeable.

According to the data provided by SEM, the nationalities more represented in administrative detention (asylum and non-asylum cases taken together) are Algeria (422 cases), Albania (202), Afghanistan (181), Morocco (178) and Tunisia (157).[1]




[1] Information provided by the SEM, 1 May 2023.

Table of contents

  • Statistics
  • Overview of the legal framework
  • Overview of the main changes since the previous report update
  • Asylum Procedure
  • Reception Conditions
  • Detention of Asylum Seekers
  • Content of International Protection