Jump to content
Your browser is out of date. It has known security flaws and may not display all features of this websites. Learn how to update your browser[Close]

Asylum seekers

Sixty migrants found on train in Switzerland

Around 60 migrants have been picked up after the train they were on pulled into Bellinzona station in southern Switzerland. It is the largest number ever found on a Swiss train, according to border authorities. 

The individuals, most of them men from Eritrea, were then transported by rail police and border guards to the asylum seeker reception centre in Chiasso, canton Ticino, where their personal data could be checked and they could apply for asylum. 

The train had left Milan early on Tuesday, according to border guard spokesman Mirco Ricci. He explained that the authorities had not acted until the train reached Bellinzona because the stops in Chiasso and Lugano had been very brief. 

If the migrants choose not to apply for asylum in Switzerland, they will be sent back to Italy immediately, Ricci said. 

Refugee relocation

Almost 6,000 applications for asylum were lodged in Switzerland in the second quarter of 2016, the State Secretariat for Migration reported on Tuesday. This is around 25% less than the previous quarter and 20% less than the second quarter of 2015. 

However, the first six months of 2016 saw a total of 14,277 asylum requests made, 20% more than the first six months of 2015. Most applications were made by people from Eritrea, Somalia and Syria. 

As part of the resettlement programme of the UN’s refugee agency, 231 refugees entered Switzerland in the second quarter of 2016. Most are Syrians who had come from Lebanon, but the figure included 24 Iraqis and Iraqi Palestinians who were in grave danger in Syria, according to the State Secretariat for Migration. 

In addition, 34 people came to Switzerland via Italy in May seeking protection – the first to do so as part of the European Union’s relocation programme. The migration office did not disclose their nationalities. This programme aims to distribute some 160,000 refugees who have arrived in Europe around member states and non-EU Switzerland. 

Sign up for our free newsletter and get the top stories delivered to your inbox.

swissinfo.ch and agencies


All rights reserved. The content of the website by swissinfo.ch is copyrighted. It is intended for private use only. Any other use of the website content beyond the use stipulated above, particularly the distribution, modification, transmission, storage and copying requires prior written consent of swissinfo.ch. Should you be interested in any such use of the website content, please contact us via contact@swissinfo.ch.

As regards the use for private purposes, it is only permitted to use a hyperlink to specific content, and to place it on your own website or a website of third parties. The swissinfo.ch website content may only be embedded in an ad-free environment without any modifications. Specifically applying to all software, folders, data and their content provided for download by the swissinfo.ch website, a basic, non-exclusive and non-transferable license is granted that is restricted to the one-time downloading and saving of said data on private devices. All other rights remain the property of swissinfo.ch. In particular, any sale or commercial use of these data is prohibited.