Update: 27.04.2017

Problematic deportation of asylum seekers to Italy and Greece

Switzerland continues to deport asylum seekers towards Italy or Greece according to the Dublin II Agreement that entered into force in December 2008. A report presented in November 2009 by the Swiss Observatory on the Asylum Law and Foreign National Act (ODAE), a national NGO, shows however how harsh are the conditions of these 'safe countries'  for deported asylum seekers, even the most vulnerable ones. Earlier that month, the Swiss Refugee Council had called upon the Swiss authorities to stop deportations towards Greece after observing deplorable conditions of living.

Most end up in the street

In Italy, most asylum seekers - but also recognized refugees - receive no guarantees to be sheltered, and often only survive thanks to aid organizations. Shelters are not sufficient, and while being put on long  waiting lists, even vulnerable persons such as minors, traumatized persons, pregnant women or sick persons, are to sleep on the streets, in parks or empty houses. This situation, even worst in Winter, was observed by Caritas Rom for instance.

Europe, a giant flipper

The ODAE report criticize the so-called positive assessment of the Federal Office of Migration (FOM) of April 2009. "Our observations are clear, the ODAE report says, persons flying their countries form persecutions do not find asylum in Europe anymore, but they are send from one country to the other. Deportation often goes to Southern European countries, where asylum policies are deficient.»

UNHCR recommends to stop sending back

In December 2009, the UNHCR presented a situation report on Greece as a country of asylum, making it clear that Greece violates international EU-standards. Therefore, the UN agency recommands governments to not send back asylum seekers to Greece and not to apply the Dublin-II Agreement until further notice.

Documentation (in national languages mostly)

Further information


© humanrights.ch / MERS - Hallerstr. 23 - CH-3012 Bern - Tel. +41 31 302 01 61