Refugee total climbs to 50 million worldwide

Young Syrian refugees stand outside their tent at a camp in the eastern Lebanese town of Majdal Anjar, Lebanon, in June Keystone

The record number of refugees worldwide has moved the Federal Commission on Migration to call for Switzerland to increase the number of refugees it accepts. The commission asked Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga to raise the quotas as soon as possible.

This content was published on June 27, 2014 - 11:00 and agencies

The extra-parliamentary commission advises the cabinet and the administration on issues related to migration. In a press release on Friday it cited figures from the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) estimating that there are more than 50 million refugees worldwide for the first time since the Second World War.

The war in Syria alone has produced more than eight million refugees.

Switzerland agreed to take on 500 particularly endangered Syrian refugees in connection with a pilot project announced in September 2013.

Swiss representatives announced on Friday at a UNHRC conference in Geneva that Switzerland plans to accept 350 refugees from Syria by the end of 2014 and 150 more by the end of 2015. The Federal Office for Migration reported that so far, 54 Syrian refugees have arrived.

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