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Improve protection Official report identifies problems for female refugees

three women in a kitchen

The government report on the situation of female refugees was prompted by a demand from a parliamentarian. 

(© Keystone/Gaetan Bally)

The government has called for improved housing of female refugees in Swiss asylum centres and better protection of victims of sexual violence.

In a report published on Wednesday, the government also identified the need for increased awareness among the employees at refugee centres of the special situation of female refugees, notably in the areas of “gender-specific” housing, healthcare and work.

Some of the identified measures have already been addressed under a reform of the asylum system that came into force earlier this year, according to a statement by the State Secretariat for Migrationexternal link.

The government report has met with mixed reactions from non-governmental organisations.

The Refugee Councilexternal link welcomed the analysis, but urged the government to boost coordination among all stakeholders in the asylum centres and to ensure that women and girls can live in separate rooms from men.

The NGO Terre des Femmesexternal link says the proposed measures don’t go far enough and that the official refugee policy lacks a female perspective.

It argues that the Swiss asylum system puts female refugees at the mercy of violence and that the planned measures of both the national and cantonal authorities lack coherence.

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