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Syrian refugees: calling Switzerland home

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More than 100 refugees from Syria have started new lives in Switzerland. They are part of a programme run by the UN refugee agency to resettle particularly vulnerable Syrians who fled the conflict in their homeland. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)

The Swiss government decided to take in 500 Syrians two years ago as part of the resettlement programme.

This summer, the latest group of Syrian refugees arrived. They have been put up in a former boarding school in the village of Thal in eastern Switzerland, where they will live for six months, preparing to be integrated into Swiss society. 

Priority is given to German language courses – essential to get on with life in this part of Switzerland. Psychological counselling is also provided. All the refugees here, selected by the UN, have been traumatised by the war.

Switzerland has a history of taking part in resettlement programmes of the UN refugee agency – accepting refugees in the second half of the 20th century from Hungary, the former Czechoslovakia and Tibet.