Swiss perspectives in 10 languages

Swiss court grants asylum rights to Afghan women

An Afghan woman in Pakistan.
An Afghan woman arrives at a refugee holding camp for verification in Karachi, Pakistan, November 3, 2023. Keystone / Rehan Khan

The Federal Administrative Court has upheld an appeal by two Afghan women against their deportation from Switzerland. Consequently, they must be granted asylum in the Alpine country.

The court upheld the new asylum practice of the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM).

A self-determined life for women and girls in Afghanistan is not possible under the current regime, the Swiss court concluded in a judgement published by the NZZ am Sonntag on Sunday. According to the court, this discrimination is a significant motive for persecution under refugee law.

+ Asylum requests from Afghan women rise sharply in Switzerland

In September 2022, the SEM rejected the two women’s asylum applications and ordered them to be deported from Switzerland. The Afghan women lodged an appeal against this decision.

+ Why Switzerland has been turning away most Afghan asylum applications

In July 2023, however, the SEM changed its practice and, following a recommendation by the European Union Agency for Asylum (EUAA), had decided to grant asylum to women from Afghanistan as a rule.

This decision and two related motions filed by the right-wing Swiss People’s Party will be discussed in an extraordinary session of parliament next week.

This news story has been written and carefully fact-checked by an external editorial team. At SWI we select the most relevant news for an international audience and use automatic translation tools such as DeepL to translate it into English. Providing you with automatically translated news gives us the time to write more in-depth articles. You can find them here

If you want to know more about how we work, have a look here, and if you have feedback on this news story please write to

External Content
Your subscription could not be saved. Please try again.
Almost finished… We need to confirm your email address. To complete the subscription process, please click the link in the email we just sent you.
Daily news

Get the most important news from Switzerland in your inbox.


The SBC Privacy Policy provides additional information on how your data is processed.

Deeply Read

Most Discussed


children beside unrwa logo


Parliament committees approve Swiss UNRWA payment

This content was published on The foreign affairs committees of the Swiss parliament have backed – with conditions – a donation of CHF10 million ($11.2 million) to the embattled UN agency.

Read more: Parliament committees approve Swiss UNRWA payment

In compliance with the JTI standards

More: SWI certified by the Journalism Trust Initiative

You can find an overview of ongoing debates with our journalists here . Please join us!

If you want to start a conversation about a topic raised in this article or want to report factual errors, email us at

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR

SWI - a branch of Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR