Protecting refugees – Maintaining human dignity. These principles have guided our daily actions since 1936.
We fight to ensure that Switzerland complies with the right to protection from persecution guaranteed under the 1951 Geneva Refugee Convention. We are committed to ensuring that asylum seekers obtain a fair procedure and that recognised refugees are given equal opportunities to take part in our country economically, socially and culturally. We advocate an open-minded Switzerland with a sense of solidarity.
To the general public and to authorities, we advocate a just and humane asylum policy, for example through awareness-raising campaigns on the Refugee Days and through the Swiss Asylum Symposium held every two years. We state our positions in position papers and media communiqués on asylum practices and on current requirements in the Asylum Act and the Foreign Nationals Act. We make available a broad range of publications, both printed and online.
We help guide asylum seekers through “the jungle”, that is, the Swiss legal system and conduct research to analyse the situation in their countries of origin. When it comes to the integration of refugees, we help by making a financial contribution to their education. We assist in bringing about the reunification of families separated by flight and persecution. Our education teams do important public education work in schools and other educational institutions.
The Swiss Refugee Council is the umbrella organisation for refugee and human rights organisations.
We are a politically non-partisan and denominationally independent non-profit organisation certified with the Zewo seal of quality. The Swiss Refugee Council is the umbrella organisation of the following recognised refugee relief organisations:
- Amnesty International, Swiss Section
- CARITAS Switzerland
- Salvation Army Foundation Switzerland
- Swiss Interchurch Aid (HEKS-EPER)
- Swiss Labour Assistance (SAH-OSEO)
- VSJF (social arm of Swiss Federation of Jewish Communities SIG-FSCI)
Our most important partners:
- Office of the UN High Commissioner for Refugees UNHCR and
- State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), and
- Authorities from the cantons, cities and municipalities
Organisations associated with us:
- The Feminist Peace Organisation cfd
- Swiss Foundation of the of the International Social ISS, and
- Liechtenstein Red Cross.
Through our active membership in
we are also well networked internationally.
German-speaking Switzerland, Romandie, Ticino
Our secretariat general is located in Bern. We are present in French-speaking Switzerland with our Romandie Office in Lausanne and are represented in Ticino by our member organisation Swiss Labour Assistance (SAH-OSEO).
The Swiss Refugee Council has a staff of about 30 people working in four different resource centres (departments): Protection (legal services, asylum procedures and country analysis), Education, Communication as well as Finance, Personnel and Administration.