Refugees arriving in Switzerland have to turn over to the state any assets worth more than 1,000 Swiss francs (£690) to help pay for their upkeep, broadcaster SRF have reported, revealing a practice that has drawn sharp rebukes for Denmark.
SRF’s 10 vor 10 news programme showed a receipt a refugee from Syria said he received from authorities when he had to turn over more than half the cash his family had left after paying traffickers to help them get to the neutral Alpine country.
It also showed an information sheet for refugees that stated: “If you have property worth more than 1,000 Swiss francs when you arrive at a reception centre you are required to give up these financial assets in return for a receipt.”
Stefan Frey, from refugee aid group Schweizerische Fluechtlingshilfe, was quoted as saying: “This is undignified ... This has to change.”
Swiss authorities rejected criticism over the practice, saying it was based on a decades-old law and only applied in a fraction of cases. Authorities also noted that the law called for asylum seekers and refugees to contribute where possible to the cost of processing their applications and providing social assistance.
According to the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), the rule affected just 112 out of 45,000 refugees last year.
An SEM spokeswoman told SRF: “If someone leaves voluntarily within seven months this person can get the money back and take it with them. Otherwise the money covers costs they generate.”
Pour lire la suite : http://www.theguardian.com/world/2016/jan/15/switzerland-joins-denmark-in-seizing-assets-from-refugees-to-cover-costs?CMP=twt_gu