Swiss authorities draw anger over segregation for asylum seekers
A list of 32 “exclusion zones” for refugees has been drawn up after the opening of a new national asylum seekers’ centre in the Swiss town of Bremg ray ban uk arten, 20km west of Zurich.
The rules have provoked anger, with the charity Swiss Refugee Aid describing the segregation policy as “untenable on legal and humanitarian grounds”.
In June, Swiss voters backed tougher asylum rules that deny refugee status to conscientious objectors and army deserters. The rules also state that asylum seekers may no longer file applications at Swiss embassies.
The Swiss government wants to speed up its decision making process on asylum claims, cutting the time it takes to handle requests to under a year.
Switzerland has a relatively high number of refugees, in proportion to its population. Figures published by the EU show that, in 2011, there were around 24,600 asylum seekers in Switzerland, which has a total population of about 8m, compared with about 26,400 asylum seekers in the UK and 53,000 in Germany.
The first residents of the Bremgarten centre, who include Tibetan and Sudanese refugees, moved in on Monday.
Similar restrictions on movement have been imposed on refugees at a centre in Nottwil, a Swiss town 20km north west of Lucerne, where asylum seekers are banned f ray ban uk rom the school, a centre for the elderly and a camping site, according to Swiss p ray ban uk ress reports. Other towns where national asylum centres are due to open are in talks with the government abo ray ban uk ut imposing segregated areas.
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