Update: 25.09.2007

Asylum requests must be thoroughly examined

The Federal Court published an important decision concerning the implementation of the new asylum law. It stated in its decision of 11 July 2007 that asylum applications from asylum seekers without valid identity papers had to be examined, if there was any chance of their application being genuine. The so-called non-entry (non-entrée en matière) is therefore only permissible when the first interview clearly shows that the person has no refugee status. «What it means now is that if there is any element of doubt, asylum seekers will have to be channelled through the normal process», Jürg Schertenleib of the Swiss Refugee Council (SRC) told swissinfo. Karin Jehle of the UNHCR's Swiss liaison office was also of the opinion that this decision was a step in the right direction for the application of the revised Swiss asylum law: «With its recent jurisprudence, the Federal Administrative Court contributes to an interpretation and application of the revised Swiss asylum law in a way that all those persons who are in need of international protection receive it.»

Swiss Refugee Council disagrees with Federal Office for Migration

The SRC found in a study where the NGO evaluated several hundred decisions for non-entry that the Federal office applied the requirement to show valid identity papers too restrictively. The requirements for processing an asylum application were often very high, said the SRC in its press release from 19 July 2007. People claiming cases of rape, FGM or civil wars had not been examined, even though such cases are obviously not unfounded and therefore unsuitable for the accelerated procedure. 

Driving licenses and birth certificates do not constitute identity papers anymore, according to a different decision by the Federal Court from 11 July 2007.  

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