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Western rules

Lucerne coaches asylum seekers ahead of carnival

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It’s carnival season in Lucerne. The sex attacks in Cologne on New Year’s Eve have prompted the Lucerne officials to produce a leaflet informing asylum seekers about western behavioural norms. (SRF/swissinfo.ch)

The Hirschpark asylum centre in Lucerne is keen on preventing problems arising from significant cultural differences. They are handing out leaflets specifically designed for foreigners. But the manager of the asylum centre says this is not about putting anyone under general suspicion. The pamphlet comes together with general rules the staff of the centre explain in their first discussions with new arrivals.

The rules are binding for everyone. Touching people, physical violence and insults are not allowed. Men and women have equal rights. Many of the asylum seekers say these rules go without saying. Together with a coach the migrants re-enact the situations described in the pamphlet in role play. It was Lucerne social services director Guido Graf who commissioned the leaflet shortly after the events in Cologne, even though Lucerne hasn’t experienced any such incidents during past carnivals.