In recent months, there have been more asylum applications from unaccompanied minors. This is shown by SRF research.
In recent weeks and months, there have been more asylum applications in Switzerland from minors who are traveling without their parents. In 2020 there were still a good 500 asylum applications from minors. The exact figures for this year are not yet available.
Especially many young people from Afghanistan
Daniel Bach from the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) can already say: “It is becoming apparent that the number will be significantly higher than last year.” So much higher that the Canton of Bern had to react, as Manuel Haas from the Canton of Bern’s Asylum and Refugees Department says.
It is becoming apparent that the number will be significantly higher than last year.
The canton is therefore opening a new center for these unaccompanied underage asylum seekers at the beginning of March. Young people in particular continue to come: “The majority of them are young people from Afghanistan and tend to be male youths.” The federal government also confirms this.
Most of them are young people from Afghanistan.
But that has nothing to do with the withdrawal of troops from the United States and its allies in Afghanistan. These young people have been on the road for a long time. Because of the pandemic, they were stuck in countries like Greece because borders were closed.
Stressful for young people and caregivers
However, the situation in Afghanistan still has an impact on their care. That says Alan Sangines from the responsible office in the canton of Zurich. They would have increased the resources: “We notice that especially very stressed young people come.”
We notice that it is mainly young people who are under a great deal of stress who come.
“The Afghan situation in particular has had a strong impact on the Afghan youth who are already here. More and more caregivers are looking for appointments. We are required to support the young people psychologically as well,” says Sangines.
That is why the canton of Zurich has also made slight adjustments to the resources. Everyone says it is difficult to say whether more underage asylum seekers will continue to come to Switzerland. It is also crucial whether and where the national borders are passable because of the pandemic.
From the archives: Teens without parents on the run