Handbook Migrationsrecht Schweiz (Migration Law Switzerland)
2014 - 2015
Swiss Centre of Expertise in Human Rights (SCHR), Bern
European and Federal Law
Migrating to Europe is a reality because living conditions here are much better than in neighbouring areas in Asia, the Middle East and Africa. In many European countries, migrants are met with a diffuse front of rejection because the resident population fears for their prosperity and security. Everywhere, right-wing nationalist parties have weaponised the issue of migration for their own purposes.
Following the Second World War, Europe adopted the goal of addressing inner-European conflicts with the principles of law, rather than with the arbitrary and totalitarian use of force. The fundamental rights of the individual have been part of the foundation of European civilisation since 1948. Migration to Europe must also be managed with this approach. The status of a far-reaching lawlessness for migrants that some are demanding - especially as far as fundamental rights are concerned - is a fatal development.
Switzerland bears the dubious privilege of hosting the right-wing nationalist party that was the first to call for the abrogation of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR). If this development continues, it will have negative consequences for minorities within Europe and for the personal freedom of everyone who lives in the continent of Europe.
In politics, the protection of economic growth and security are often used as hollow arguments to impose disproportionate state restrictions on the fundamental rights of minorities or individuals.
Handbook on European law
The agency of the European Union for Fundamental Rights and the European Court of Human Rights published a "Handbook on European law relating to asylum, borders and immigration" in March 2011.
At the end of 2013, the Hirschmann Foundation invited the Swiss Centre of Expertise in Human Rights (SCHR) to publish an analogous handbook on the principles of European and federal law related to Swiss law relating to asylum and foreigners. The objective was to describe the complex rules of Swiss migration law as transparently as possible for the people affected and for the practical application of the authorities and courts.
The handbook on the Swiss Migration Law (Manuel de droit suisse des migrations) has been available in both German and French since June 2015.
The handbook is available in digital form to everyone at no charge on the SCHR website (Handbook on Migration Law).