Distributive policy

Switzerland adapts its housing policy to Ukrainian refugees

More than 20,000 refugees from Ukraine, mainly women and children, have been accommodated in private accommodation. © Keystone/Jean-Christophe Bott

The Swiss authorities plan to return to a regular reassignment of refugees from Ukraine in order to ease the burden, in particular for certain cities.

This content was published on April 21, 2022 – 16:59


The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) said the aim was to accommodate registered Ukrainian refugees taking into account the capacities in the regions.External link.

The country’s 26 cantons play a key role in implementing the government’s asylum policy under the Swiss federalist system.

“We want to create more stability both for the refugees and for the cantonal offices responsible for social welfare or education in order to avoid a disproportionate distribution of people in need,” David Keller of the SEM said on Thursday during a meeting. ‘a press conference.

Cities such as Zurich, Basel and Bern as well as the Ticino region are increasingly struggling with high numbers of refugees.

Keller as well as a senior cantonal official, Gaby Szöllösy, said they were aware of potential conflicts of interest if registered refugees or host families could no longer decide freely.

Around 37,000 Ukrainian refugees have been registered in Switzerland over the past seven weeks. About half of them were housed in private homes as part of the efforts of NGOs and citizen solidarity.

All but a few Ukrainian refugees have been granted a special legal status that allows them to apply for jobs and take language courses to facilitate their integration.

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