Living in Switzerland – Information and counselling online  

Asylum Act 

Swiss Asylum Act (AsylA), based on international conventions, governs how asylum is granted, defines the legal status of refugees and other types of temporary and humanitarian protection, and regulates the return of asylum seekers. 

Art. 3. Definition of the term "refugee"

1) Refugees are people who, in their country of origin or in their last country of residence are exposed to serious harm or have a well-founded fear of serious harm due to their race, religion, nationality, membership of a social group or for their political opinions. 
2) “Serious harm” is defined as: a grave threat to life, physical integrity or liberty, or ill treatment causing unbearable psychological strain. Special consideration is given to reasons for flight specific to women.
 
The above definition designates who may be recognized as a refugee. The concept of a refugee is based on the 1951 Geneva Convention, an international agreement signed by Switzerland and 144 other countries.
 
Switzerland has also signed the Convention on the rights of the child, which determines how young unaccompanied asylum seekers are treated. 

Harmonisation across the European Union and Switzerland has made access to the asylum process considerably more difficult for refugees in all European countries.

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