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Team Detention von AsyLex

Voluntary work for people in administrative detention

AsyLex
AsyLex Zürich, CH
Elena Liechti
Elena Liechti

Project Overview

Foreign nationals may be detained in Switzerland for up to 18 months. We represent our often destitute clients before the courts and ensure that they are not unlawfully detained. Most of our clients never get to see a lawyer, even though some of them have been in custody for months. Without legal representation it is not realistic to win or even to make a complaint.

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In Switzerland, foreigners can be placed in so-called administrative detention (colloquially known as deportation detention) for up to 18 months. This detention is not ordered because one has made oneself liable to prosecution, but to enable the deportation of the person concerned.
It can affect all persons who do not have a right of residence in Switzerland. Some of our clients have partners and children in Switzerland, or they have been in Switzerland for 20 years and speak our national languages fluently.
In the last 4 months, about 35 applications for release from prison have been filed, practically all of them were rejected by the court of coercion. It is only because we appeal against them in every case that our clients are finally released, based on the decisions of the higher courts (Administrative Court and now five victories before the Federal Supreme Court). Without legal representation, it is not realistic to win the case or simply to lodge a complaint. Unfortunately, most of our clients have never seen a lawyer, although some of them have been in custody for months.
Approximately 13 volunteers are working with a steadily increasing number of detainees as part of the AsyLex detention project. To do so, they have to study files, file applications for release from prison, write complaints and take part in prison hearings. This is done by volunteers, which is very time-consuming and intensive, but we do it with heart and soul! However, there are a lot of costs due to office rent, printing costs, paper, registered letters, travel costs, emergency telephone, other administrative work, such as the coordination and organization of the whole project.
AsyLex
AsyLex
Zürich, CH

AsyLex is a non-profit association based in Switzerland. We support asylum seekers in their procedure with free legal advice. Our vision is that every asylum seeker in Switzerland understands the basics of the asylum procedure, knows the criteria for granting asylum and has access to free legal advice at all times. In addition, AsyLex has a detention team that represents people in deportation custody.

Elena Liechti
Elena Liechti
Bern, CH
Praktikantin bei Asylex

Through my daily work at AsyLex I see how many people are helped by volunteering. But we are getting more and more clients, and at the same time the administrative work is increasing, all this cannot be done by volunteers alone. During my time at AsyLex I was able to learn a lot, more people should have the opportunity to get this professional insight at AsyLex and especially at the Detention Team, but not all of them have the capacity to do this extensive work in their spare time.

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Location Zürich