Groups urge review of aid for illegal immigrants

Non-governmental organisations have called for a review of the system of emergency aid for rejected asylum seekers in Switzerland.

This content was published on February 3, 2011 - 13:29 and agencies

The groups, including the Refugee Council and Amnesty International, say the policy is in violation of basic human rights and has failed to deter potential asylum seekers but instead has been driving people underground.

Fewer than one in six of them had officially left the country, the NGOs said.

Parliament in 2004 decided to cut welfare payments and provide just a minimum payment in an effort to reduce costs.

More than 5,000 people have to get by on between SFr4.30 ($4.60) to SFr12 per day, according to the pressure groups.

The refugee council has launched a petition to hand over to new justice minister Simonetta Sommaruga in June, urging the authorities to boost financial assistance for rejected asylum seekers to return to their home countries.

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