In light of the dramatic humanitarian plight of the 12,500 refugees from the Moria camp destroyed by fire on the Greek island of Lesbos, the cities of Lausanne and Geneva have lent their support to the City of Zurich’s call for action. The two cities on Lake Geneva have in turn asked the Confederation to convene a national conference in order to provide shelter for the refugees of the Moria camp without delay.
Like Zurich, Bern and other cities and municipalities throughout Switzerland who have made public statements to that effect, Lausanne and Geneva have announced their desire and capacity to receive refugees. The Confederation must now seize this opportunity and act quickly. The two fires which completely destroyed the Moria refugee camp on the island of Lesbos have forced the 12,500 refugees, including 4,000 children, to flee. While the conditions in the camp were already extremely difficult, the refugees now have absolutely no shelter and find themselves in an extremely urgent situation. The unprecedented scale of the resulting chaos highlights the pressing need for resources and support in regions beset by conflict, along refugee routes and on the borders of Europe. Citizens and political leaders in numerous Swiss cities have long believed that this humanitarian crisis requires greater commitment from our country to provide shelter for refugees. Switzerland can and must do more.
The commitment of Swiss cities
While asylum policy is essentially a matter for the Confederation and the cantons, the cities and municipalities are key partners, in particular in terms of integration policy. In June of this year, the eight largest cities in Switzerland, including Geneva and Lausanne, already announced their desire to welcome more refugees. In the past, these same cities have shown that they are capable of welcoming and taking charge of a considerable number of refugees both quickly and effectively. They are also willing to make a significant commitment in light of the ongoing urgent humanitarian situation. Geneva and Lausanne therefore call on the Confederation to convene a national conference as soon as possible, together with the cantons and cities keen to participate in this action, in order to provide shelter for these refugees without delay.
For all additional information, please contact:
- Grégoire Junod, syndic of Lausanne, 021 315 22 01
- Sami Kanaan, Mayor of Geneva, 022 418 95 25
Article modifié le 16.09.2020 à 16:19