Reports suggest Switzerland is seizing assets from refugees to cover costs
Switzerland may be following Denmark in the controversial practice of taking assets from refugees to help fund their upkeep. (Twitter)
Refugees arriving in Switzerland must hand over any assets worth more than $1,000 to authorities in order to cover costs, the broadcaster SRF reported. The news programme showed a receipt given to a Syrian refugee in Switzerland after he handed over more than half of the cash his family had brought with them.
An information sheet was shown which reportedly stated, “If you have property worth more than 1,000 Swiss francs ($1,000) when you arrive at a reception centre you are required to give up these financial assets in return for a receipt.”
A spokesperson for the Swiss migrant authority (SEM) told SRF that, “If someone leaves voluntarily within seven months this person can get the money back and take it with them. Otherwise the money covers costs they generate.”
The SEM justified the measure, saying that the contributions go towards the cost of processing applications and providing assistance.
The move is controversial to say the least, with Denmark announcing that it will increase the maximum amount a refugee can bring in after coming under fire for its own confiscation policy.
Refugees in Switzerland will also have to give ten percent of their pay for up to ten years to the government if they win the right to work in the country until they pay $15,000, the report says.
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