Switzerland and the International Protection of Refugees, La Suisse et la protection internationale des refugiés
Edited by Vera Gowlland-Debbas and Vincent Chetail
The present volume highlights the new challenges of the international protection of refugees fifty years after the adoption of the 1951 Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.
Focusing on the problems faced by Switzerland in the field of international protection of refugees as well as on the specificity of its asylum law and practice, this publication addresses the refugee problem from a national, European and international perspective. The Swiss experience serves to illustrate the wider problematic of on the one hand, the tensions between security, political and humanitarian concerns encountered by refugee-receiving states, and on the other, the need to preserve an international refugee protection regime which remains an essential component of international law and relations for so long as political solutions are not brought to the root causes of refugee exodus.
This reflection on the international protection of refugees is organized around four main themes. The first examines Switzerland's response in the past to mass influx, in the light of historical case studies and the evolution of Swiss asylum law and practice. The second focuses on the question of access of refugees to asylum territories and refugee status determination procedures within the framework of the 1951 Convention on the Status of Refugees and the current Swiss asylum law. The third centres on the wider protection regime currently being forged in Europe to address a broader category of refugees, including solutions for temporary and subsidiary protection. The final theme revolves around return of refugees, including those under the Dayton and recent Kosovo agreements and covers reintegration of returnees, assistance and long-term development.
This work is based on papers presented at a colloquium of the Graduate Institute of the International Studies in Geneva which was organised in collaboration with the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees as a contribution to the 50th anniversaries of the UNHCR and the Geneva Convention relating to the Status of Refugees.