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Asylum Swiss need more asylum detention places, say authorities

detention cell

A cell at the pre-deportation detention unit at the airport prison in Kloten, canton Zurich


To cope with the number of asylum seekers, Switzerland must increase its number of administrative detention spots by 50%, according to judicial and police authorities. 

The country needs 600 places, says the Conference of Cantonal Judiciary and Police Directorsexternal link. Today there are 400, too few for the total of 18,500 asylum applications expected in 2017, it says. 

+ Asylum requests are on the decline in Switzerland 

Despite the decrease in applications, the conference wants to remain flexible in the event of an increase, as its general secretary, Roger Schneeberger, told the Swiss News Agency on Wednesday following a report in the newspaper SonntagsZeitung. 

Part of the thinking behind the conference’s recommendation is the asylum reform approved by Swiss voters in 2016. It takes effect in 2019 and will accelerate asylum-related procedures, which, as the conference of judges and police points out, should not be held up due to a lack of administrative detention places. 

Administrative detention is a legal measure that can be used only under the strictest conditions. For example, it can come into play for pre-admission detention or for detention pending deportation. The maximum term cannot exceed 18 months.

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