Anti-racism report recommends regularising asylum seekers after six years

The Swiss police were denounced for failing to eliminate institutional racism. © Keystone / Salvatore Di Nolfi

The Council of Europe's Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) has recommended that Switzerland grant legal resident status to those who cannot return to their country after a maximum of six years.  

This content was published on March 19, 2020 - 12:42

In a report published on Thursday the ECRI noted advances in Switzerland compared to 2014. These include legal aid to victims of racism in all cantons, faster integration of refugees and persons admitted on a temporary basis, and work authorisations granted to asylum seekers after three months. 

However, for ECRI, a number of issues remain of concern. For example, lack of state support for LGBTI victims, a rise in anti-Muslim discourse and penury of transit areas for nomadic communities. The Commission also deplored the persistence of institutional and structural racism in the police in the form of racial profiling and checks on nomadic people and black communities. 

On the basis of the report, ECRI offered 15 recommendations to Switzerland, two of which are considered top priorities.  

One of the priorities is improving the capacity of counselling centres for victims of racism. The other recommendation is granting, after a maximum of six years, legal residence status to persons who cannot return to their country. Implementation of these recommendations will be examined in two years' time. 

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