In recent months we have been active in municipal and cantonal parliaments. Together with the SP (Social-Democratic Party), we were able to successfully introduce the “Geneva Declaration for the Protection of Human Rights at Sea” in Basel. In other cities and cantons, parliamentary procedural requests to create safe harbors and escape routes are in preparation or pending.
In the past, the city of Bern has already agreed to take in people rescued from distress at sea in the Mediterranean. The SEEBRÜCKE Bern is now asking the city to declare itself a safe harbour.
In 2019, the City of Lucerne has accepted the postulate “Sanctuary city” Lucerne – the City of Lucerne as a safe harbour.
Since spring 2020, a broad campaign has been underway to welcome refugees from the camps on the Greek islands. 50,000 people throughout Switzerland, the national churches and more than 130 organisations have supported the Easter appeal of Amnesty International, Evacuate NOW and the Migration Charter Campaign, which calls for a rapid evacuation of the Greek camps and a generous reception of refugees. Numerous politicians – across all party lines – have also rallied behind the demands. Switzerland’s eight largest cities – Zurich, Berne, Basel City, Lucerne, Winterthur, St. Gallen, Lausanne and Geneva – have joined this appeal. Cities such as Fribourg, Neuchâtel and Wil (SG) have signed, so did smaller municipalities.
While some cities in Switzerland are already members of European networks or have accepted political demands, other cities have declared their solidarity with people on the run. Both fulfil the basic requirements for Safe Harbours. Thus, all the cities and municipalities listed below could be considered “Safe Harbours” without having to explicitly declare their support.