27 May 2021

First refugee parliament in Switzerland

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Far too often, refugees are talked about without asking them about their concerns. The first Swiss Refugee Parliament will now take place on 6 June. The preparations of the thematic commissions are already in full swing. terre des hommes switzerland supports the refugee session.

Refugee policy moves Swiss politics and minds, and parliament is constantly debating and passing rules and laws. Those affected have little say in the process. Switzerland's first refugee parliament will now take place in Bern on 6 June. Since the end of April, around 75 refugees from 19 cantons and 15 countries have been preparing for the session in 9 commissions. In online commission meetings, they discuss asylum topics of their own choice, such as education, the integration agenda, children's rights, rejected asylum seekers or the problematic F status for provisionally admitted asylum seekers. They receive support from experts and members of the Federal Assembly.

On the day of the session, the commissions exchange ideas, revise their reports and finally adopt their demands. The concerns are received by parliamentarians from various parties and organisations. terre des hommes switzerland will also be present at the refugee session. We have been working on the issue of migration for a long time and are committed to helping refugees in Switzerland. In our project work with young people at home and abroad, participation is a central principle. That is why terre des hommes switzerland supports the Refugee Parliament launched by NCBI. Because far too often we talk about refugees - not with them. Roksan Kasem, Chair of the Refugee Commission, says: "The Refugee Parliament is important. We are all human beings, whether we are refugees or not. Many Swiss people do not know us. I am committed to making it easier for us to live together."

People in Switzerland should be made aware of the problems of refugees and their ideas for solutions - especially members of parliament who make decisions that affect refugees. Sylvia Valentin

The session can be watched live from 1.30pm here. On Monday 21 June, the results of the Refugee Parliament will be presented by the participants at a public evening event in Bern.

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