21 March 1993

Doc. 7044



on the situation of asylum-seekers whose asylum

applications have been rejected

(Rapporteur: Mr FLÜCKIGER,

Switzerland, Liberal, Democratic and Reformers Group)


      The situation of rejected asylum-seekers, whose numbers are constantly rising, is one of increasing concern. This report looks at the situation of those who, for various reasons, refuse to return to their country of origin and consequently find themselves in a precarious position. The report, taking account of the difficulties that return to the country of origin may entail, proposes that conditions should be established for the successful social and economic re-integration of rejected asylum-seekers in their countries of origin, notably through bilateral and/or multilateral co-operation programmes. Moreover, member states' asylum policies and legislation should be harmonised, in consultation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).

I. Draft recommendation

1.       In the face of persecution or other threats to their life or integrity, everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy asylum. However, under the principle of national sovereignty the decision to grant asylum is a matter for the host state.

2.       The 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its Protocol of 1967, the European Convention on Human Rights and the relevant national instruments in the field of humanitarian law must provide the basis for harmonising asylum policies and regulations in all the Council of Europe member states.

3.       Since the 1980s European states have been confronted with an increase in the number of asylum applications and have adopted a series of instruments designed to clarify the concept of right of asylum.

4.       Most Council of Europe member states allow asylum-seekers whose asylum applications have been rejected to remain on their territory on humanitarian grounds, particularly on account of international or domestic armed conflicts, serious violations of human rights or lack of democracy.

5.       Some asylum-seekers whose asylum applications have been rejected wish to return to their countries of origin. Steps should be taken to ensure their safe and dignified return and the states of origin and temporary entry should adopt return policies combined with support measures to assist the social and occupational resettlement of those applying to return.

6.       Asylum-seekers whose asylum applications have been rejected and who are not allowed to remain in the host country but do not return to their countries of origin are in an unlawful situation and usually risk becoming clandestine immigrants.

7.       In the absence of legal doctrine, these frequent unlawful situations are settled only in pragmatic fashion; it is therefore important to fill a legal vacuum which is detrimental both to the states and to the persons directly concerned.

8.       The Assembly therefore recommends that the Committee of Ministers invite the Council of Europe member states:

i.       to set up fair and effective asylum procedures in co-operation with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) and harmonise asylum policies and legislation in the spirit of the 1951 Geneva Convention and its 1967 Protocol and of the relevant national instruments in the field of humanitarian law;

ii.       to confer basic rights, as provided for in Conclusion No. 22 (XXXII) of the Executive Committee of the UNHCR, on such asylum-seekers until their applications have been fully considered;

iii.       to examine the possibilities for harmonising the conditions on which those who do not satisfy the criteria for the granting of refugee status may nevertheless be authorised to stay for humanitarian reasons on the territory of the member states;

iv.       to give special attention and protection to solitary minors and to certain groups of de facto refugees;

v.       to take practical steps to curb the illegal and abusive exploitation of asylum-seekers whose asylum applications have been rejected, bearing in mind Recommendation 1211 (1993) on clandestine migration: traffickers and employers of clandestine migrants;

vi.       to ensure that asylum-seekers whose applications have been rejected on the grounds that they could have found refuge in a third country find effective, lasting protection, including legal protection, and fair asylum procedures when they are removed to that country;

vii.       to strengthen policies for bilateral and multilateral co-operation in the fields of human rights and minority rights and contribute to the social and economic development of the countries of origin of asylum-seekers whose applications are rejected;

viii.       to contribute, by means of bilateral and multilateral co-operation policies, to the reintegration of such asylum-seekers into the society and economy of their countries of origin;

ix.       to draw up bilateral and/or multilateral agreements, in close co-operation with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the non-governmental organisations concerned, to:

      a.       promote initial and advanced vocational training schemes as well as educational and cultural programmes, taking account of personal circumstances, designed to assist the reintegration of asylum-seekers whose applications have been rejected;

      b.       set up programmes for voluntary assisted return to the country of origin.

II. Explanatory memorandum


I. Introduction

      The concept of refugee is not new: it is the outcome of a long process of historical and legal change.

      In the earliest stages of civilisation, authors such as Aeschylus and holy books such as the Old Testament established the taking in of exiles as a rule of moral and political conduct. In actual fact, the emergence of refugees accompanied that of governments organised within specified frontiers.

      The term "refugee" is defined first of all by a practical situation: refugees are people who have had to cross the borders of their territory of origin because they were hunted or threatened by the authorities there.

      The international Convention relating to the Status of Refugees (Geneva, 1951), referred to hereinafter as the Geneva Convention, defines a refugee as any person who "owing to well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country ..." (Article 1). Refugees, who are involuntary migrants, are thus regarded as people deprived of the protective power of the state. The term "refugee" also covers asylum-seekers as long as their applications have not been rejected.

      However, while the concept of refugee emerges clearly from the various texts, the same does not apply to the right of asylum.

      The only universally applicable text dealing with the right of asylum is Article 14 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights of 10 December 1948, which provides that "Everyone has the right to seek and to enjoy in other countries asylum from persecution".

      The right of asylum is thus recognised in this declaration as a human right, but under the principle of national sovereignty the decision to grant this right is a matter for the unfettered discretion of the host state.

      Since the early 1970s the strict immigration policies of most European states have added new dimensions to the question of the right of asylum. Governments and the media have repeatedly described these refugees as migrants in disguise. The same circumstances have often produced both refugees and economic migrants, since recession has prompted economic migration, as well as environmental migrants. It is not always easy to distinguish between refugees and migrants, but the distinction has to be drawn because their situation is covered by different legislation and different national and international conventions. Moreover, decisions are often influenced by labour market demands and the current economic situation rather than by the need to protect refugees.

      In 1974-75, which for most states were grim years for human rights, substantial refugee flows followed the brutal change of regime in Chile, the strengthening of dictatorships in Latin America, the deterioration of the political situation in the Horn of Africa and also the American retreat from South East Asia.

      During the 1980s European states showed growing concern at this increase in applications for asylum and drew up a series of instruments clarifying the concept of right of asylum. States interpreted Article 1 of the Geneva Convention in an increasingly restrictive manner, so that the decisions taken deviated at times from the spirit of the convention.

      Asylum-seekers whose asylum applications have been rejected are therefore persons whose applications for refugee status in the host country have been examined and rejected on the basis of the criteria laid down in the 1951 Convention. However, the question of their return should be considered only when they have exhausted all the legal channels through which they might obtain refugee status.

      Yet not all asylum-seekers whose applications have been rejected are necessarily deported. Some of them are granted humanitarian refugee status and may accordingly remain in the country with a different status: status B or C in the Scandinavian countries, Asilo in Spain, the "exceptional right to remain" in the United Kingdom, a temporary residence permit in Germany. But their rights are substantially more limited than those granted under the Geneva Convention. In the United Kingdom, for example, refugees granted exceptional permission to remain in the country cannot be joined by their families for four years, whereas those who have obtained their status under the Geneva Convention are immediately entitled to family regrouping.

      There are also de facto refugees, that is people who are not recognised as refugees (for example, migrant workers, students, foreigners) but are in the same situation, since for reasons outside their control they are unable to return to their countries of origin. De facto refugees who are not recognised as refugees are in the same position as asylum-seekers whose applications have been rejected.

      As indicated above, the Geneva Convention, with its Protocol signed in New York in 1967, is the cornerstone of the whole protection of refugees. However, the European Convention on Human Rights can also help to protect them.

      The European Convention on Human Rights does not guarantee any right of residence or asylum in a state to non-nationals. However, the European Commission and Court of Human Rights consider whether the deportation of aliens is likely to give rise to a problem under Article 3 of the Convention when a person claims, with the support of convincing evidence in writing, that there is a real and serious risk that if he/she is sent back to the country of origin he/she is likely to suffer inhuman and degrading treatment or punishment. The European Court has repeatedly asserted that, even if the right of asylum is not secured as such in the Convention, these removal measures are likely to pose problems not only under Article 3 but also under Article 13, which secures the right to an effective remedy. The latter article implies that a remedy in domestic law is required to empower the competent national "authority" to hear complaints based on the Convention and offer the appropriate redress. However, it does not require any particular form of remedy, thus giving states the freedom to judge for themselves how best to fulfil their obligations.

      The Court has also reasserted the principle of family unity, which is laid down in Article 8 of the Convention and may protect the individual if he/she is deported or refused permission to enter a European state to join his/her family. In this context, mention may also be made of Article 36 of the Commission's Rules of Procedure, whereby the President can inform the parties of any provisional measure it appears desirable to adopt in the interest of the parties, or of the normal course of the proceedings. Recourse to Article 36 will only be made in exceptional circumstances and to show that the applicant is likely to suffer irreversible harm if deported, and that his/her deportation would therefore infringe Article 3 of the Convention.

      I would remind you that in 1991 the Council of Europe received a delegation of asylum-seekers whose asylum applications had been rejected in France, pleading the case of about 100 000 people — African, Asian, Kurdish and Latin American — who had been struggling to get the government to legalise their status. On that occasion, reference was made to the decisions mentioned above.

      Although asylum-seekers can on no account be turned back at the border, deported or extradited to their own country or to a country where their freedom, lives or fundamental rights would be threatened as long as the procedures have not been completed, the situation of asylum-seekers whose applications have been rejected is more precarious. They find themselves in a dead-end situation, and measures are needed to help and support them.

II. Relevant international instruments

      Without quoting the relevant international instruments in full, I would mention the Dublin and Schengen Agreements, which deal more specifically with the problem of asylum-seekers whose applications have been rejected, as well as Conclusion No. 22 (XXXII) of the Executive Committee of UNHCR (see Appendix III).

      In 1990 the member states of the European Economic Community concluded a convention in Dublin on determining the state responsible for considering each asylum application. The Convention, which is often known as the "Asylum Convention", not only lays down criteria for the consideration of applications, but also provides for the exchange of information on asylum-seekers between national authorities. Doubts have been expressed because a number of provisions do not comply with the relevant international treaties, including the 1991 Council of Europe Convention for the Protection of Individuals with regard to Automatic Processing of Personal Data (European Treaty Series No. 108).

      The 1990 Schengen Agreements concern the gradual abolition of border controls between the member states and one of them deals more specifically with the free movement of persons.

      Under these agreements asylum applications may no longer be considered by more than one signatory state, in order to avoid the "orbiting" of asylum-seekers who lodge applications in several countries and whose files are sent from one country to another, but never examined.

      In actual fact the signatory states are required to comply with the decision of the first state to which the asylum-seeker applied. This is the criterion of the first state responsible: no other country may reconsider applications rejected by the other member countries. However, a clause in the agreement allows each state to adopt a different attitude if it considers it advisable for reasons of domestic law. That was in fact the position adopted by France in November 1993.

      This report first discusses asylum-seekers whose applications have been rejected and who refuse to return to their countries of origin, then asylum-seekers whose applications have been rejected and who agree to return to their countries of origin.

1.       Situation of asylum-seekers whose asylum applications have been rejected and who refuse to return to their countries of origin

      While it is recognised that asylum-seekers whose applications have been rejected are not covered by the 1951 Convention, some of them however have sound reasons for being unable to return to their countries of origin and are in need of special protection. The problem is all the more pressing because, in order to avoid returning home once their applications have been rejected, these people usually decide to remain in the host country unlawfully. Furthermore, since they cannot apply for jobs either, they are exploited by unscrupulous employers. Employers quite obviously profit from the labour of clandestine migrants: they save a large percentage of the costs of registered labour and impose long, irregular working hours.

      In addition, some asylum-seekers cannot apply to the consulates of their countries of origin because it would in many cases be dangerous for them and their families, while others meet with systematic refusals from their consular authorities. It is sometimes difficult for some of these people to approach a western embassy for fear of reprisals. It is equally difficult to produce written documents if you come from a country where one of the characteristics of the country's culture is its oral tradition.

      If the procedures are to be effective, they should not be superficial but should be surrounded by all the necessary safeguards to determine precisely who should be returned to his/her country of origin and who should be protected. The procedures must be fair, since experience shows that in a number of countries such procedures are usually inadequate. These procedures should be administered by a competent authority, and qualified and impartial interpreting should be available during court hearings. The asylum-seeker should also be given sufficient time to prepare for the hearing.

      It has often been suggested that the consideration and review of asylum applications should be a matter for an independent body formed of competent officials with comprehensive training in international law and a thorough knowledge of the situation in the asylum-seekers' countries of origin, together with members of humanitarian NGOs.

      When asylum applications are considered and reviewed, human rights, humanitarian aspects and family unity should take precedence over the control of immigration flows and the strict application of criteria defining refugees. For example, when an asylum-seeker whose application has been rejected appeals, account should not be taken solely of factors such as the lack of real evidence, illegal entry or failure to produce identity papers. Here attention should be drawn to Article 31.1 of the Geneva Convention, which concerns refugees unlawfully in the host country and urges the Contracting States not to impose penalties on such persons if they present themselves to the authorities and show good cause for their illegal entry or presence.

      Asylum-seekers whose asylum applications have been rejected and who fall outside the scope of Article 1 of the Geneva Convention, but are nonetheless in need of protection, should exceptionally be able to remain in the host country on humanitarian grounds. However, this is not a satisfactory solution because persons who have obtained refugee status enjoy more rights and greater legal security, since their treatment is governed by principles of international law.

      Asylum-seekers whose applications have been rejected are thus in a position of insecurity, usually in breach of the regulations and deprived of any form of social protection. Something must therefore be done about this legal vacuum.

2.       Assistance for the voluntary return of asylum-seekers whose asylum applications have been rejected

      A co-ordinated programme to promote and assist the dignified and safe return of asylum-seekers whose applications have been rejected can constitute an important element in migration policy.

      While asylum-seekers leave their own countries for largely economic reasons, the reasons for the return of those whose applications have been rejected are much less clear. Almost all decisions to return are explicitly or implicitly affected by economic factors. Other reasons may also come into play, such as positive changes in the country of origin, homesickness, disappointment because the receiving country does not correspond to the person's image of it, and employment opportunities in the country of origin.

      Voluntary return means that the person concerned agrees to leave the host country and is not against returning to his/her country of origin. This is no easy decision to take.

      Measures to draw attention to the possibility of voluntary return start on arrival and on registration at the reception centre, and continue throughout the various stages of support and supervision. They are designed to help asylum-seekers face reality and encourage them to think about their situation with a view to finding alternative solutions. This may entail explaining procedures to asylum-seekers or providing information to encourage them to think about ways of solving their problems in the host country. These measures go hand in hand with the process of encouraging asylum-seekers to return, which may be marked by disappointment at the impossibility of fulfilling one's wishes or by frustration following a negative decision; the advice given to those returning to their countries of origin may instil greater self-confidence.

      However, this information and advice should by no means delay departure. It is not of a legal nature and should not concern ways of entering another country, but ways of organising the return to the country of origin. Advice also concerns such matters as travel arrangements, modes of transport and the travel documents required (passports, identity cards, visas). It may also concern the people or organisations to contact on arrival, who may help the returning asylum-seeker settle in the home country. This is very important because migrants may have lost contact with their countries of origin.

      States of origin and receiving states should provide for the dignified and safe return of asylum-seekers whose applications have been rejected, and also help them readjust to local and regional conditions in their countries of origin. A return policy should therefore be linked to a regional development plan providing for funds and facilities to offset the differences in development level.

      The host country should in certain clearly identified cases, finance assisted returns. This could mean helping to defray travel expenses and the cost of resettlement in the country of origin, providing financial and technical assistance, together with management advice, for the setting up of a small business or cottage industry, or defraying the costs of vocational training. In 1992, for example, Italy's contribution to the IOM enabled the latter to launch programmes to help African nationals residing in Italy undergo vocational training and find jobs in their countries of origin. Similar action was taken in the Netherlands.

      However, the financial impact of schemes for a dignified return is difficult to assess.

      The authorities empowered to decide on asylum applications, as well as support organisations and the appropriate NGOs, will have a major part to play in this respect and will have to inform asylum-seekers whose applications have been rejected that they can seek information and advice with a view to their return.

      The return of these asylum-seekers is the primary aim of policies to encourage their departure. The initial stage — the actual journey, the arrival in the country of origin and the beginnings of resettlement — is of special importance.

      Arrival in the country of origin and the first few days there are particularly important because the circumstances of returning asylum-seekers' arrival and reception will be decisive in terms of their decision to remain in the country for good. If they have to overcome major difficulties, they may well go back on their decision and decide to emigrate to another country. It would therefore be a good idea to devise basic support facilities to advise migrants and set up reception facilities to support and assist them during the first few months of readjustment. On their return these asylum-seekers often encounter the same problems as when they arrive in the host country, such as housing, a new cultural setting and the population's unfriendly attitudes. It would also be advisable to obtain guarantees, if appropriate, from the authorities of the countries of origin.

      It should be pointed out that children likewise come up against new problems in the country of origin, which they do not really consider their own. This engenders educational and socio-cultural difficulties. They sometimes find it difficult to adjust to the new living conditions, considering them to be harder than in the host country.

      To ensure that these asylum-seekers remain in their countries of origin, the above measures should be accompanied by support measures to help them regain a foothold in society and re-enter the labour market, so as to preclude their reversing their decision.

      A variety of measures could be considered, ranging from training courses in the host country to prepare migrants for their return to the granting of funds to finance small businesses. However, these last measures are more difficult to carry out because of the financial resources they require.

      Lastly, it would be advisable to plan measures for economic reconstruction and set up schemes to counter the causes of migration.

      The Ministers responsible for Migration Affairs of the Council of Europe member states, meeting in Budapest on 15 and 16 February 1993 as part of the regular meetings initiated by the "Berlin Group", decided in particular to adopt measures to provide economic assistance to countries which, because of their poverty, are major sources of illegal immigration.

      They also drew the governments' attention to the need to devise appropriate schemes to help asylum-seekers whose applications have been rejected to return to their countries of origin. This might include targeting those who are able to return to their countries and help rebuild a democratic society there.

      It will be noted that on 10 May 1993, an agreement was signed between Poland and the Czech Republic requiring both parties to readmit refugees who are not entitled to remain in one of the two countries. Slovakia is also considering signing the agreement. An agreement between Poland and Germany provides for German funding to help set up infrastructure facilities for asylum-seekers whose applications have been rejected. Lastly, Bulgaria and Poland signed an agreement on 24 August 1993 requiring the Bulgarian authorities to readmit all asylum-seekers of Bulgarian nationality whose asylum applications were rejected in Germany and who were returned to Poland under the readmission agreement signed by Germany and Poland on 7 May 1993. The Polish and Bulgarian Ministers of the Interior also agreed on the readmission of all Bulgarian nationals caught attempting to enter Poland illegally. During the first seven months of 1993 the Polish border police caught and arrested 1 523 Bulgarians on charges of illegal entry.

      It would thus seem logical for the host countries to assume responsibility for setting up schemes to promote and encourage return, while not underestimating the role of the country of origin, which can be given technical and material help to combat the causes of migration. The countries of origin have a significant role, since people must be able to return and remain there safely.

      Basic support measures should therefore be planned in certain countries of origin, where facilities should be set up to support and supervise returning asylum-seekers. Organisations such as the IOM and UNHCR, as well as the specialist NGOs, could be in charge of follow-up and monitoring. They have a particularly important function to perform in so far as they normally maintain relations with both emigrants' countries of origin and their target countries. It should be pointed out that the IOM is helping to carry out a number of schemes for the return and resettlement of asylum-seekers whose asylum applications have been rejected and who wished to return on a voluntary basis. Under a scheme for the resettlement of asylum-seekers in Germany introduced in 1979, the IOM has been able to help 114 722 migrants either return to their countries of origin (66 983) or leave for a third country (47 739). It has assisted some 3 850 people under a similar scheme introduced in Belgium in 1984. Similar programmes have been set up with the Netherlands, Switzerland, Italy and Austria.

III. Conclusion

      The concept of return means providing appropriate assistance and measures to help people regain a foothold in society and re-enter the labour market. This demands close co-operation with the country of origin, particularly in the case of countries with high unemployment.

      To ensure that migrants actually succeed in finding employment in their countries of origin, the host countries could consider setting up a training body for returning migrants.

      All the factors contributing to democratic security help to convince the citizens of the emigration countries not to leave them. It follows that everything the western states can do to demonstrate their confidence in those countries' ability to complete their transition successfully is of paramount importance.

      Procedures to assist return should therefore be set up as a matter of urgency, by means of a programme to be implemented in conjunction with the IOM and other organisations with responsibilities in this area.

      This does however presuppose close co-operation with the governments in the countries of origin.

      Finally, your rapporteur would like to remind you of Chancellor Vranitsky's statement to the Parliamentary Assembly in January 1993, stressing that confidence in the future was directly conditioned by the fact of having a job and that this also called for very specific steps to be taken by the European states. Those states will therefore have to seek to promote a more positive image of immigration and foreigners among their citizens.


Swiss practice regarding asylum-seekers

      Swiss legislation on asylum is based on the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees and its 1967 Protocol, the European Convention on Human Rights and on Switzerland's humanitarian tradition.

      Article 4 of the Federal Constitution confers various rights, which, in accordance with the principle of equal treatment, are equally valid for Swiss citizens and for aliens: for example the right of appeal, and the right to protection against arbitrary decisions, etc. Aliens receive equal treatment unless they have no right of residence in Switzerland.

      Principles of public international law, such as Article 33 of the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, and Article 3 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR) prohibit the return of refugees or any other aliens to a state where they are likely to be exposed to torture or inhuman or degrading treatment. Even if Switzerland denounced these conventions, it would still be bound by the principle that such refugees may not be turned back, since the case-law of the Federal Court has already decided that this principle should be considered part of customary international law. However, the principle is not applicable in the case of a person considered likely to jeopardise Swiss security, or to be a danger to the community, having been convicted of a particularly serious crime.

      Most asylum-seekers fail to meet the requirements of the law. The applicant may appeal against the rejection of his application. The Federal Justice and Police Department (DFJP) examines such appeals and gives a definitive ruling, in its capacity as an independent body. In the future, this task will be the responsibility of an appeals committee independent of the administration. Applicants whose cases are rejected must leave Switzerland voluntarily once the rejection decision comes into force; otherwise they will be made to comply with the ruling. If the persons in question do not possess valid travel documents, however, their departure may be delayed for several months, and they will not be deported if they lack valid identity papers. In September 1991, the Federal Refugee Office (ODR) set up a special department responsible for speeding up the formalities involved in obtaining the identity papers needed for returning aliens.

      The Federal Refugee Office is responsible for making sure that the return of applicants who do not fulfil the criteria for granting asylum is carried out in a safe and dignified manner, and is also responsible for facilitating the integration of recognised refugees.

      Assistance for voluntary return has been under discussion since the mid-1980s, because of the increase in the number of aliens obliged to return to their country of origin.

      This aid is intended for the following groups: asylum-seekers whose case is under consideration, asylum-seekers obliged to leave, aliens admitted provisionally, former asylum-seekers with entry permits granted on humanitarian grounds, and refugees.

      The Swiss Federal Refugee Office has issued a handbook with instructions for the care of aliens seeking protection because of exceptional circumstances, and a guide intended for the directors of refugee centres and their senior management.

      In Switzerland, three categories of aliens seeking protection are recognised:

      —pe       ople persecuted for political reasons: such people have to report to a registration centre, and can obtain asylum.—

      —pe       ople fleeing an armed conflict or a natural disaster: these people have no specific status but are nonetheless sheltered and fed in Switzerland until the situation in their country of origin improves. They have to report to a registration centre.—

      —pe       ople fleeing for economic reasons or from other people: such people are not granted asylum. They are accommodated until they are deported.In

      In an order dated 13 February 1991, the Federal Council set up a special unit and an "interdepartmental working party for exceptional developments in the refugee situation" (SER).1 In its handbook mentioned above, the Federal Refugee Office gives the cantonal authorities instructions on accommodating and caring for aliens requiring protection in emergency situations.

      On arrival in Switzerland, all aliens must report to a registration centre, and asylum proceedings will only be instigated on their behalf at their specific request. They must apply for asylum, or for provisional admission to the country as soon as they arrive. The canton will submit all requests for provisional admission to the Confederation, which will decide on conditions of residence and on assistance to be provided by the canton. Aliens who do not declare their presence and who have not requested provisional admission automatically become unauthorised aliens, and will receive nothing from the Confederation.

      Separate accommodation is planned for asylum-seekers and persons provisionally seeking protection.

      The main facilities for accommodating and caring for aliens seeking protection are as follows:

      —re       ception centre and hostel or transit centre for asylum-seekers,—

      —ca       ntonal centre for assigning aliens seeking protection to accommodation.AP


Principal data concerning Switzerland in 1993

Asylum requests, cases processed, departures and cases pending

compared with the year 1992

Type of case





Absolute %

Asylum requests (including births)

24 739

17 960

6 779 38 %

Total cases processed

29 688

35 904

- 7 218       - 20 %

Positive decisions

3 831

1 408

2 423       172 %

Negative decisions and non-examination of the substance

22 256

29 497

- 7 242       - 26 %

Other cases processed

3 600

5 999

- 2 399       - 40 %

Total departures

19 280

26 242

- 6 962       - 27 %

Voluntary departures

3 896

4 871

- 973       - 20 %

Transition to clandestinity

12 377

17 303

- 4 926       - 28 %

Repatriation to state of origin

3 005

3 868

- 963       - 24 %

Repatriation to a third state



267       267 %

Total cases pending

27 828

31 720

- 3 892       - 12 %

Grant of asylum and average rates of recognition of refugee status



Absolute        %


Absolute       %


2 051       46,7


Rest of area of the former Yugoslavia

455       6,8

413       4,4

Sri Lanka

33       2,1

18       1,9


787       26,1

640       12,1


3 831       14,7

1 408       4,5

      Reporting committee: Committee on Migration, Refugees and Demography.

      Budgetary implications for the Assembly: none.

      Origin: Doc. 6571 and Reference No. 1773 of 11 March 1992.

      Draft recommendation unanimously adopted by the committee on 14 March 1994.

      Members of the committee: MM. Flückiger (Chairman), Cucó, Sir John Hunt (Alternate: Mr Atkinson) (Vice-Chairmen), Mrs Aguiar, Mr Akselsen, Mrs Arnold, Mrs Astgeirsdottir, MM. Attard Montalto, Biefnot, Billing, Böhm, Branger, Mrs Brasseur, MM. Brennan, Brito, Ehrmann, Eisma, Fava, Foschi, Fuhrmann, Galanos, Ghesquière, Golu, Gotzev, Mrs Hacklin, MM. de Hoop Scheffer, Iuliano, Iwinski, Kalus, Kapsis, Karcsay, Kiliç (Alternate: Miss Özver), Mr Kiratlioglu, Lord Kirkhill, MM. Laanoja, Lupták, Mrs Mascher, MM. Pastuszka, Pavlides, Mrs Robert, MM. Saudargas (Alternate: Zingeris), Skolc, Stoilov, Ms Szelényi, Mr Trojan, Mrs Uusmann, Mr Vázquez.

      N.B.       The names of those members present at the meeting are printed in italics.

      Secretaries to the committee: Mr Newman and Ms Nollinger.

1 1 1. "Exceptional developments in the refugee situation" refers to the rapid increase in the number of aliens seeking protection, which has overloaded the accommodation and reception facilities, and therefore means that special measures will have to be adopted.