SFH - SWISS REFUGEE COUNCIL
The Swiss Refugee Council (SFH) is an autonomous, politically and confessionally independent organization. SFH was founded in 1936 as umbrella organization of all initiatives working in the asylum field. (SFH website, http://www.osar.ch/about-us, accessed on 2 June 2008)
The organization promotes the Geneva refugee convention and works for the benefit and integration of refugees and for a secure and dignified return procedure of unacknowledged asylum seekers. (SFH website, http://www.osar.ch/2005/01/24/unsere-mission, accessed on 2 June 2008)
SFH coordinates the representation of the asylum seeker on behalf of the government at hearings. Furthermore, SFH carries out staff trainings, COI analysis and provides the legal representatives of asylum seekers with COI related information. The organization also participates in political debates on asylum related questions. (SFH website, http://www.osar.ch/about-us, accessed on 2 June 2008)
- supporting refugees and asylum seekers in their asylum procedure. SFH processes app. 500 information requests from support offices and legal representatives per year. Furthermore, up to 50 country analyses are prepared every year (SFH website, http://www.osar.ch/2007/11/21/, accessed on 2 June2008)
- Anticipating and influencing political, economic and social changes and their consequences on the asylum system; engagement for requests and needs of asylum seekers and refugees.
Scope of reporting:
Geographical focus: variable, depending on current developments. Focus in 2007:
Africa – Angola, Ethiopia, DR Congo, Eritrea, Cameroon, Somalia
Asia – Afghanistan, Sri Lanka
Europe – Bosnia, Kosovo, Russian Federation, Chechnya, Serbia, Montenegro, Turkey
Middle East: Iraq, Iran, Syria
Topical focus: Asylum politics, countries of origin, integration (SFH website, http://www.osar.ch/sitemap, accessed on 2 June 2008)
The country information and analysis unit works independently and follows an integrated and systematic approach for COI research. The unit profits from access to information networks in countries of origin and from a number of external country experts, organisations and institutions from Switzerland and other countries.
Due to a high number of information requests and limited capacity, there is a minimal period of time before a new request can be processed.
The COI country analysis products are set to meet the requirements of Swiss customers.
Products comprise country reports, expertises, individual case inquiries and country fact sheets. All these products are based on information networks, information research activities and fact finding missions.(SFH website, www.osar.ch/country-of-origin, accessed on 2 June 2008).
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