About us

Protecting refugees – maintaining human dignity

The Swiss Refugee Council is the independent voice speaking up for the protection and for the rights of refugees in Switzerland. Since 1936, it has been committed to ensure the humane treatment of vulnerable people, representing their interests as a dedicated advocate.

The Swiss Refugee Council played an instrumental role in ensuring that seeking asylum became a political remit in the 1950s. Since then, the organisation has helped shape numerous constitutional achievements in the Swiss asylum system.

With its consolidated experience in refugee support, and as the umbrella organisation of NGOs working in the field of asylum, the Swiss Refugee Council is helping to shape Switzerland's future. With work that is always case-relevant,, the Council is innovative, voices its opinions and offers support wherever necessary. The Swiss Refugee Council provides legal and country-of-origin advice, critically monitors the work of authorities, raises awareness and informs the public. It is also the point of contact for politicians and experts.

With the invaluable support of the population and collaboration with its member organisations, as well as other associations and institutions, the Swiss Refugee Council is committed to achieving its ambitious goals. . As a non-profit organisation, the Swiss Refugee Council is Zewo certified.

«Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution.»

The Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 14

What we want to achieve

  • Admission: the guaranteed right to protection from persecution for people seeking to be admitted to Switzerland
  • Protection: Switzerland's adherence to the Geneva Refugee Convention and other human rights obligations
  • Proceedings: fair proceedings for asylum seekers and top-quality legal protection
  • Integration: equal employment and education opportunities for recognised refugees and temporarily admitted persons as well as a solid platform for active participation in the country’s social, political and cultural life
«To realise our goals, we need the support of people who have a sense of commitment and a big heart.»

Miriam Behrens

Director of the Swiss Refugee Council