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Migration Thousands of asylum seekers sent back to Switzerland

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Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga, in beige jacket, with asylum seekers at an integration workshop in Bern last summer


Last year, Switzerland received a record number of readmission applications for asylum seekers living in other European countries. 

The State Secretariat for Migrationexternal link received 6,113 such requests in 2017, reported newspaper NZZ am Sonntag. In comparison, there were 4,115 in 2016 and 3,072 in 2015. 

According to the Dublin agreement, a person can file only one asylum application – as a rule, in the first country where the migrant was registered. 

+ How the Dublin system has worked for Switzerland 

Most of 2017’s requests for Switzerland to take back asylum seekers came from Germany (2,932) and France (1,429). Switzerland approved 2,485 of these readmission applications. The migration office rejected the others on the grounds that they did not meet the Dublin agreement’s requirements. 

Also under the Dublin system – Switzerland has sent 28,000 asylum seekers back to other European countries since 2008.

On Thursday, Swiss Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga said it was time to reform the asylum system across the continent. She was in Bulgaria taking part in a meeting of European leaders regarding refugee resettlement.

Switzerland received about 18,500 asylum applications last year.


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