Update: 21.12.2011

Switzerland in Advent: no shelter for asylum seekers

In the past weeks, several newly arriving asylum seekers have been rejected at the doors of the centres of accommodation and provisioning in Basel, Vallorbe and Chiasso. Despite frost and cold, some of them had to spend several nights without shelter - or hope for the compassion of private persons. The federal centres of accommodation are completely packed right during the cold winter season. Who is responsible for this emergency?

Private persons step into the breach

Solidarité Sans Frontière (SOSF) describes the conditions in the centre of accommodation and provisioning in Basel to be insupportable, since the centre administrated by ORS Services AG is filled to overflowing, accommodation for newly arriving refugees cannot be granted and families with children are preparing to spend nights out of doors. «Private activists and charity organisations are stepping in and are filling a state gap that should have never been allowed to come into existence.»

Systematic downsizing of asylum affairs

According to SOSF, the authorities must take the blame for this crisis in the asylum sector. The organisation states that between January and end of November 2011 the number of applications for asylum does not lie above the yearly statistical average of the last ten years. The applications from the North African region make up merely 15 per cent of all 20,016 applications for asylum deposited throughout the year. The SOSF therefore sees no connection between the present shortage in spaces and the «flood» of so-called economic refugees since the beginning of the Arab Spring which has been constantly been talked about. The true reason for the problems is the systematic structural reduction of the asylum sector of the Federal Office for Migration.

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