Switzerland: UNHCR deeply regrets adoption of new asylum law

Briefing Notes, 18 March 2005

This is a summary of what was said by UNHCR spokesperson Ron Redmond to whom quoted text may be attributed at the press briefing, on 18 March 2005, at the Palais des Nations in Geneva.

UNHCR deeply regrets the adoption of the new asylum law yesterday by the Conseil des Etats. It is one of the strictest pieces of legislation in Europe, and comes at a time when the number of asylum seekers arriving in Switzerland has already fallen to its lowest level since 1987.

UNHCR made detailed comments on the draft. However, the strong reservations we had have not been taken on board. These were laid out in some detail in a press release we did last July, and broadly speaking remain the same today. Our biggest concerns are the following: