Switzerland: Young refugees demand better conditions

CHILDREN’S CHARTER

Unaccompanied minors seeking asylum in Switzerland have demanded better living conditions as they wait for their applications to be processed. On Monday, a group of them presented a charter to the Federal Office for Migration.
In particular, the young asylum seekers want to live in homes earmarked for youths rather than share quarters with adults. Education is also a priority for them.

Unaccompanied minors want to live with other kids. (Keystone)

Unaccompanied minors want to live with other kids.
(Keystone)

“We want to attend public schools as soon as possible,” states the charter, which also calls for quicker processing of asylum requests so that they might be able to pursue apprenticeships. As the charter concludes, “Everybody has the right to build a future”.

A group of about 30 young refugees drew up the 13-page charter (German version here) with the support of the Swiss National Youth Council. Other issues they highlighted were the need for warmth (water, building insulation and clothing), and pocket money for food, transport and clothing. Also, they expressed their worries about turning 18 and being yanked out of school or work and being sent back to their home countries.

As the Federal Office for Migration told the Swiss News Agency, it will consider the charter with input from the cantonal authorities as well as other relevant parties. The youths will be invited for a discussion next year.
Every year, hundreds of unaccompanied minors arrive in Switzerland seeking asylum. This year there have already been more than 700 requests compared to 339 for the whole of 2013.

swissinfo.ch and agencies

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