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«Basel as a city of refuge»

Procès 18.5300
Level: Canton
Canton: BS
Status: Rejected


The suit was submitted in October 2018 and transferred to the Government Council in November 2018. In Switzerland, Geneva and Basel are pioneers in offering sans-papiers a place of refuge.

“Europe’s promise to respect human rights is being broken every day. The current European asylum policy no longer serves primarily to protect refugees, but rather to protect the borders. Despite
Continuing conflicts in countries such as Syria, Afghanistan, Southern Sudan, Myanmar or Somalia and increasing numbers of refugees worldwide are already reducing the number of refugees finding protection in Europe. People seeking protection
but must have access to a fair and constitutional trial in Europe. Instead of national go-it-alones at the borders and in the ports, there is a need for a solidarity-based reception in which the states are involved in
the southern external borders are not given sole responsibility for asylum seekers.

The dramatically worsening situation in the Mediterranean calls for our solidarity and for effective action at long last to save people in distress and enable them to be disembarked in the nearest European port. They should then be received in various countries. If even wealthy nations close their borders to refugees, other states will follow suit. That is why a responsible policy of safe escape routes and open ports is needed in Europe. And this must be actively supported.

The term “cities of refuge” can be used to describe those cities that demand the direct reception of refugees or migrants from abroad in a particular city. At the moment
Europe Initiatives at city level aimed at a liberal reception policy for refugees. At the end of July a conference of progressive cities with
Palermo and Barcelona and probably Berlin and Bari. This is no coincidence, because cities have always been places of migration and refugee reception worldwide. Given the limitations of nation-states
Refugee regimes move cities to the fore.

The Government Council is therefore asked to examine how it can use appropriate bodies (e.g. association of cities, direct talks, etc.) to lobby the Federation to take in refugees from ships in the Mediterranean. Basel should join the ranks of cities such as Palermo, Berlin, Barcelona, Kiel, Amsterdam, Stockholm and Naples in offering refugees protection”.

On November 10, 2020, the Grand Council of Basel decided to dismiss the suit

On Feb. 10, 2021, the members of the Grand Council voted on the dismissal. With 48 to 44 votes, the suit “Basel as a city of refuge” was registered as conclusively dealt with

More information on decision 18.5300

Press reports

Zufluchtsstädte – eine US-Bewegung erreicht die Schweiz
Aux États-Unis, de plus en plus de villes prennent en charge les autorités fédérales. En tant que “villes sanctuaires”, elles protègent les migrants sans papiers contre les politiques d’immigration sévères du président Donald Trump. En Suisse, Genève et Bâle sont pionnières dans l’offre aux sans-papiers d’un lieu de refuge où ils ne doivent pas craindre d’être arrêtés et déportés.


Aufenthalt von Sans-Papiers in der Schweiz legalisieren: Fünf Fragen und Antworten
On estime que jusqu’à un quart de million de personnes vivent en Suisse sans avoir de statut de résidence légal. Plusieurs villes veulent améliorer la situation des sans-papiers.


Basel soll Stadt der Zuflucht werden
Discours au Grand Conseil sur le procès de Beda Baumgartner