Council of Europe Commissioner Welcomes Switzerland's Progress in Asylum Laws

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Council of Europe's Commissioner for Human Rights Nils Muiznieks has welcomed progress reached by Swiss authorities in adopting laws more accommodating for asylum seekers but criticized the slow pace of their adoption and the lack of a sensitive approach to migrant children, the council's press service said in a statement on Tuesday.

The European Union flag fly amongst European Union member countries' national flags in front of the European Parliament in Strasbourg, eastern France. - Sputnik International
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MOSCOW (Sputnik) On May 22-24, the European official visited Switzerland focusing on the issues related to the country's refugee policy.

"The Commissioner welcomes the improvements foreseen by the new asylum law, which will allow for free legal aid from the beginning of the procedure and should lead to faster and higher quality status determination procedures. However, the new law is only due to enter into force in January 2019 and in the meantime progress is needed in a number of migration-related areas," the statement said.

The statement added that the commissioner pointed to the necessity to enhance the identification and protection of the most vulnerable groups of asylum seekers, including children, by Swiss authorities.

Europe is facing a large-scale migration crisis, which is considered to be the worst since World War II. Millions of people from the crisis-torn Middle East and Northern Africa want to find asylum in stable and wealthy countries, such as Switzerland. At the same time several European countries have taken steps to tackle undocumented migration drawing criticism from international institutions.

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