First Swiss cityBern declares itself a safe haven for refugees
The Bern municipal council has approved the so-called “safe harbor” declaration. According to the criteria of the Seebrücke organization, the city now wants to welcome more refugees.
The city of Bern wants to take in more refugees. It was the first city in Switzerland to declare itself a so-called “safe haven”, a term that comes from the Seebrücke political movement. The organization advocates for a human rights-based and solidarity-based migration policy.
“The city of Bern’s declaration of a safe haven is more than just symbolic politics – it is another consistent step in the city’s commitment to a humane and active asylum and refugee policy,” said local councilor Franziska Teuscher in the media release on Monday.
“Years of commitment to refugees”
The city of Bern has been committed to a humane arrival of refugees and the integration of new arrivals for years. It provides resources for care and works on ways to ensure that refugees can stay safe. The city also wants to support the sea rescue organization Sea Eye with 70,000 francs in 2024.
The “Safe Harbor” symbolizes ports to which people in distress are brought. They are welcome there, they are looked after and accommodated. The Seebrücke also wants to expand this to communities and cities. More than 320 cities have already declared themselves safe havens.
demands on the city
To become a safe haven there are many requirements. It is important to declare solidarity with people on the run. The affected cities should then work to ensure safe escape routes and support sea rescue, either financially or by participating in a rescue mission. It should also take in refugees and ensure that they can stay. A safe environment should be guaranteed and resources in the areas of housing, medical care and training should be made available.
The city of Bern cannot currently meet all of these requirements. Each city can only accommodate as many refugees as are assigned to it. Therefore, more skills are now required in order to expand the scope for additional admission programs.