Bern, Switzerland (GenevaLunch) – The number of people asking for asylum in Switzerland was down significantly in the third quarter of the year, compared to last year, but up 8.7 percent over the second quarter 2009. A total of 3,744 asylum seekers filed papers in Switzerland between July and September, according to the Federal Office for Migration (FOM).
The tally for the year to date comes to 12,136. The FOM points out that 1,161 persons were sent back to another EU country under the provisions of the Dublin Convention, which stipulates that an asylum seeker who applies in one country and then moves to another country, must have his application settled in the country of first asylum. Many Georgians who originally applied for asylum in Poland were sent back to that country for that reason.
The principal countries of origin of asylum seekers in Switzerland are Eritrea, Nigeria and Sri Lanka. Last year 16,606 people applied for asylum in Switzerland. The high point was reached in 1999, when more than 47,500 people applied for asylum.