Swiss government imposes 12-month work ban for asylum seekers

The Swiss government announced on Wednesday it was imposing a 12-month work ban for asylum seekers in order to discourage economically motivated migration.

This content was published on August 25, 1999 - 17:12

The Swiss government announced on Wednesday it was imposing a 12-month work ban for asylum seekers in order to discourage economically motivated migration.

The decision will take effect on September 1st and last until August 2000. During those 12 months, asylum seekers entering Switzerland will not be allowed to take up work or seek a job.

The government said the move had been supported by 19 of the country’s 26 cantons in a consultation process. It said the decision was aimed at preventing an influx of people who tried to find a job in Switzerland by entering the country as asylum seekers.

Similar works bans were in place in France, Italy, Sweden and the Netherlands, the government said.

The authorities underlined that the move was not aimed at keeping out asylum seekers.

On Wednesday, the economics ministry announced the launch of an education programme for Kosovar refugees in Switzerland.

In an initial phase, the federal authorities would organise courses for a maximum of 1,000 refugees between November and February next year, the ministry said.

Each course of 25 lessons will last 16 weeks and focus on skills that can be used in Kosovo’s post-war reconstruction process.

Overall, the Swiss government has set aside SFr5 million ($3.3 million) for the training programme.

Along with Germany, Switzerland has taken in the highest number of Kosovar refugees from the Balkans conflict. While several hundred have already returned to the Serb province with financial and material aid from the Swiss government, tens of thousands of others are still in refugee camps in Switzerland.

From staff and wire reports.

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