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New asylum legislation comes into force

Switzerland’s new asylum laws have now come into force: Refugees fleeing wars and armed conflicts can enter the country without having to go through the whole asylum seeker process but must leave if the situation back home has normalised.

This content was published on October 1, 1999 - 11:48

Switzerland’s new asylum laws have now come into force: Refugees fleeing wars and armed conflicts can enter the country without having to go through the whole asylum seeker process but must leave if the situation back home has normalised.

Parallel to the new laws, several regulations also took effect Friday.

Among them are a slight reduction of daily payments for refugees allowed to enter Switzerland temporarily under the non-asylum seeker status.

The new asylum laws were approved in a national vote in June by a majority of about 71 percent of Swiss voters.

These are some of the main new regulations:

-- The government decides how many refugees can enter the country as temporary refugees bypassing the asylum seeker process.

-- Refugees can be turned back at the Swiss border if they deliberately hide their true identity or clearly refuse to hand over identification papers.

-- Temporary refugees will now get SFr16 ($10.7) a day, instead of the previous SFr18.50 ($12.4).

-- Swiss cantons will take on more financial responsibilities for the refugees. This means a gradual shift from federal to cantonal authority.

From staff and wire reports.

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