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(NZZ Media Group) Switzerland is rejecting more and more Eritreans

Posted by: Semere Asmelash

Date: Monday, 13 May 2019

The New Zurich Times

Switzerland is rejecting more and more Eritreans

Tobias Gafafer  13-5-2019

More than 2000 rejected asylum seekers would have to return to Eritrea. But they usually submerge in neighboring states like Germany or end up in emergency aid. The cantons demand that the federal government does more for voluntary return.

Eritrea is the most important country of origin of asylum seekers in Switzerland.  (Image: Gabriele Putzu / Keystone)© Provided by Neue Zürcher Zeitung AG Eritrea is the most important country of origin of asylum seekers in Switzerland. (Image: Gabriele Putzu / Keystone)

The excitement was great. After several court rulings in 2018, the Confederation began reviewing the status of more than 3,000 provisionally received Eritreans. After a sample, he withdrew the right to stay for 20 people. By mid-year, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) wants to conclude the investigation. It is already becoming apparent that it should only order a final directive in individual cases. The noise in advance was probably in inverse proportion to the result.

In the shadow of the review, however, the federal government has significantly tightened the practice for Eritreans undergoing asylum procedures. This is shown by the statistics: In 2018 and 2017 alone, the SEM rejected asylum applications from 943 and 1093 Eritreans, respectively, without provisionally including them. Around 20% and 17%, respectively, of the decisions were negative - without Dublin cases where an application had already been submitted in another European country. By comparison, in the two years prior to the practice tightening in 2016, the federal government rejected only about 4 percent of Eritrean asylum seekers. According to previous figures, this trend should continue in the current year.

The increase in signposting dates back to the SEM decisions of 2016. They were still under Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga (sp.) Like and supported by the Federal Administrative Court. First, the return is no longer considered unreasonable in any case. On the other hand, people should basically leave Switzerland if they no longer have to provide national service in Eritrea.

More Dublin redemptions

However, against their will, the federal government can not buy Eritreans. The country rejects forced returns. In 2018 and 2017, only 97 deportees left voluntarily and controlled. Many stayed here. 1104 Eritreans dived, probably trying their luck in Germany and elsewhere. If EU countries can prove that the asylum seekers were already in Switzerland, they will be returned. With the tightening of practice, the number of readmissions also increased. In 2018, the SEM gave 3065 cases to do so; 777 of these were Eritreans, and not all could be completed. For comparison: in 2015 there were only 32.

Anyone who returns to Switzerland or has not left, although he would have to leave, lands in emergency aid. Affected no longer receive social assistance, but only 8 francs per day and the most necessary as an accommodation. They remain covered by health insurance but are not allowed to work. The authorities are hoping for more voluntary departure, but also a deterrent. In fact, the number of asylum applications of Eritreans decreased in 2018. Although Eritrea remained the most important country of origin, more than 80 percent of the applications were births or family reunification.

Pressure on Karin Keller-Sutter is growing

Meanwhile, the Eritreans are the largest group among the recipients of emergency aid. In 2017 there were 683 people, and last year, the number may have increased - the official statistics is not yet available. For many, emergency aid is obviously still more attractive than a return, even though they have no perspective in Switzerland. The authorities are ill prepared for such long-term cases and are increasingly facing problems. The cantons would be responsible for the expulsions but can not carry them out.

Now the pressure on SEM and Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter (fdp.) Is growing. "The Confederation has to ensure that the cantons are able to execute the sidelines," says Urs Betschart, vice-president of the Association of Cantonal Migration Authorities (VKM), NZZ. For this purpose, a special return and reintegration program for Eritreans should be developed. It should create new incentives for voluntary return and respond to the needs of many young people. In addition, the VKM demands that the federal government make use of all foreign policy options so that Eritrea complies with international law obligations and withdraws its own citizens.

However, the SEM does not think much of country-specific measures. Voluntary returnees today receive a starting aid of 1000 francs and a project assistance of 3000 francs. In the absence of a partner in Eritrea, the federal government pays them in cash at the airport. Even so, a purely financial program that does not secure effective use of funds is not an option, says a spokesman.

Difficult situation

The situation in Eritrea still finds the SEM difficult. There are no signs of domestic changes and reforms, the national service continues to be indefinite. It is the last priority of the country to take back thousands of its citizens from Europe, it is said in diplomatic circles behind closed doors. Keller-Sutter also dampened expectations in Parliament in March. No European state can restore Eritreans against their will, she said. There is still much to do.

Against this background, refugee helpers demand that the federal government also treat rejected Eritreans in a humane way. It is no solution that they lived for years without perspective of emergency aid, says Bernese pastor Daniel Winkler, who looks after migrants. "Persons we accompany do not voluntarily go back with more money." Switzerland was to allow temporary Eritreans provisional admission until the conditions in their homeland had substantially improved.

However, as the review of the right to stay of 3,000 Eritreans shows, people with this status often stay in Switzerland forever. For example, if someone has been living here for some time, expulsion is disproportionate.


Die Schweiz weist immer mehr Eritreer weg | NZZ


Die Schweiz weist immer mehr Eritreer weg -

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