Skiplink Navigation


Main Features

Legal analysis Authorities rebuked over restrictive asylum policy

In a high profile case in the town of Bremgarten ayslum seekers were denied access to a local swimming pool four years ago


A study commissioned by a government advisory commission has found that Swiss authorities restrict asylum seekers’ basic rights without enough legal justification to do so.

A report by the Centre for Human Rights Studies at Zurich Universityexternal link concluded that keeping asylum seekers from moving about freely has no proper legal basis under the Swiss constitution.

The Federal Anti-Racism Commission ordered the expert report after asylum seekers were increasingly denied access to public swimming pools or sent away from playgrounds and public spaces around schools.

The experts specifically looked at whether asylum centres could give their occupants curfews, concluding that the practice is generally allowable under the law.

However, the report concluded that many of the curfews are too restrictive, going against the constitutional clause providing for personal freedom and freedom of movement.

The commission recommends that federal, cantonal and local authorities ensure that any restriction on the freedom of movement of asylum seekers has a solid legal basis before enforcing it.

“Too often the public debate about asylum-seekers is exploited for political purposes and used to underpin preconceptions and negative stereotypes,” the commission said in a statement published on Monday.

Basic rights must continue to be at the centre of Switzerland’s asylum policy, it adds. and agencies/ug