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Unaccompanied minors


Settling into Switzerland as a teenage refugee


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A programme has been set up in one Swiss canton to teach unaccompanied minors practical skills. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)

In the last two years, the number of children seeking asylum in Switzerland without their parents has skyrocketed.

According to the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) in 2014, 795 unaccompanied minors were admitted. This represents only 3.34% of all asylum seekers but more than double the number of 2013. Most of these young people come from Eritrea, followed by Afghanistan, Somalia and Syria.

They are usually placed in public schools nearest to the asylum shelters where they live.
But some are too old for the school curriculum, and are left to linger in the transit centres. To solve this problem, a school has been opened in the town of Weinfelden in canton Thurgau to cater for their needs.

The special school curriculum includes maths, German and the kind of practical skills that should improve their chances of further education and integration.
The school is managed by the Peregrina Foundation on behalf of canton Thurgau.