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14% decrease Asylum requests drop in first half of 2018

woman and children in asylum seekers' centre

A family in a Swiss asylum seekers' centre in 2016.


The number of asylum requests filed in Switzerland was 7,820 in the first half of 2018, down 14.3% on the same period of the previous year. 

According to figures released on Friday by the State Secretariat for Migration (SEMexternal link), the drop in asylum requests was even bigger in June, down 23.7% on the same month of last year. 

This is in line with recent trends in other European countries.

The SEM nevertheless warned that despite the decrease, “the evolution of the situation in conflict regions and on the migration routes remains uncertain”.

The countries of origin of asylum seekers have not changed significantly. Out of 1,246 asylum seekers filing requests in June, there were 222 Eritreans (- 52), 122 Afghans (+ 31), 112 Syrians (- 2), 101 Georgians (+ 12) and 71 Sri Lankans (+ 15).

SEM said that by the end of June, Switzerland had received 972 of the 2,000 particularly vulnerable people from Syria and neighbouring countries it agreed to take by the end of 2018 as part of a resettlement programme of the UN refugee agency UNHCR.

Also as part of an emergency plan, SEM said 37 people evacuated from Libya via Niger arrived on June 27 and would be included in the statistics for July. The Swiss government agreed last December to take up to 80 vulnerable people from Libya as part of a UNHCR emergency plan to evacuate migrants from Libyan detention centres. Forty arrived earlier this year, at the beginning of April.


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