The Swiss Refugee Council, established in 1936, is a non-governmental, politically and religiously independent umbrella association of all important Swiss relief organizations working for refugees and asylum seekers. Its member organizations are Caritas (Catholic Aid Org.), HEKS (Evangelic Aid Org.), SAH (Labour Aid), VSJF (Jewish Aid Org.), and Amnesty International, Swiss Section. The Swiss Refugee Council is committed to the rights and protection of refugees in Switzerland, it calls and lobbies for fair refugee status determination procedures, refugee integration and a return in conditions of safety and dignity.
The protection department coordinates approximately 40 Legal Aid Offices for asylum seekers throughout the country.
The legal section provides information, advice and support to legal representatives through training and guidance on best practices. It drafts analysis papers on different legal topics and asylum issues and advocates asylum topics with the authorities and political or public stakeholders. It also coordinates the presence of neutral observers participating in the asylum hearings.
The country of origin analysis unit researches individual query requests, publishes country reports, thematic papers as well as policy papers in order to foster an objective and fair trial for asylum seekers in Switzerland.
The communication department undertakes lobbying towards the authorities and the media in several languages; carries out information and campaigning activities as well as events to improve public understanding and enhance sensitiveness for asylum issues in the general population. It also produces periodicals, maintains and improves the website, carries out fundraising activities and is responsible for the overall communication strategy.
The training and integration department carries out, in collaboration with refugees, trainings for youth and adults on such themes as “integration”, “migration and intercultural communication”, “escape and asylum” and “migration and trauma”.
Published 22 September 2010 at 17h02