The Switzerland Federal Migration Office is to suspend the return of asylum seekers to Greece, examining cases in Switzerland instead, while returns to Sri Lanka will be extended.
In its update, the Migration Office said that the security situation in Sri Lanka had clearly improved so that rejected asylum seekers from the north and west of the country could again be sent back, with the exception of those from the Vanni region.
From June 2011, the Migration Office will begin to review on a case by case basis the status of Sri Lankan asylum seekers – currently numbering 2,200 – granted provisional leave to remain in Switzerland.
In July last year the UNHCR said Sri Lankans originating from the north of the country are no longer in need of international protection under broader refugee criteria or complementary forms of protection solely on the basis of risk of indiscriminate harm.
According to UNHCR's most recent statistics for end-June 2010, - gathered from governments and also from UNHCR - there are 146,098 Sri Lankan registered refugees in 64 countries including India, France, Canada, Germany, UK, Switzerland, Malaysia, Australia, the United States and Italy.