Switzerland’s tough stance. Good
Switzerland has banned citizenship to anyone who has lived on welfare in the country in the previous three years unless they pay back the money they received.
An earlier law made it possible for migrants to apply for citizenship provided they were not on state handouts when they made their application.
But the rules have since been tightened as part of a new civil rights act which came into effect on January 1.
The new legislation also requires applicants to prove a greater level of integration if their bid is to be successful, according to Kronen Zeitung.
As part of the new criteria they must show they have ‘cultivated contacts’ with a number of Swiss people.
There are also new language requirements, which vary depending on the canton they are living in.
Although not part of the European Union the Swiss Government has pledged to play its part in resettling families fleeing Syria.
In 2016, they announced they would take 3,000 asylum seekers from the war-torn country.
It was reported at the time that the country also aimed to settle up to 50,000 asylum seekers who had managed to make their way across the border and into Switzerland DailyMail
The Swiss are sticklers for the rules. Before a person can be naturalized and receive a Swiss passport proof of integration must be shown.
Authorities in Basel have denied two sisters, aged 12 and 14 a Swiss passport because they refused to participate in school swimming lessons and residential camps on religious grounds.
Speaking to the broadcaster, Stefan Wehrle, president of the naturalization committee involved in the decision, said young people wishing to become Swiss citizens must prove they are meeting the requirements of the Swiss education system.
Since swimming lessons are compulsory in Basel’s schools – and in many other places in Switzerland including Zurich and Bern – failing to attend means a student is not meeting requirements.
“Whoever doesn’t fulfill these conditions violates the law and therefore cannot be naturalized,” Wehrle said.
Swiss courts have previously refused the pleas of several Muslim families to exempt their children from swimming lessons, saying integration comes before religion.
And authorities in Basel have dished out fines to the parents of Muslim children who refuse to participate in swimming lessons.
However this is the first time a citizenship application has been refused on such grounds, making it a case that could set a precedent in the canton, said the broadcaster. thelocal
The United States, Canada and Australia are helping Israel to pressure Switzerland and other states to thwart the conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions. “The Fourth Geneva Convention on the Rules of War was adopted in 1949 in a response to Nazi atrocities” since then it has met only twice, in 1999 and 2001, both times to deal with Israel. It seems the Geneva conference only applies to Israel.
Israel blasted Switzerland on Thursday for calling a special meeting of the High Contracting Parties of the Fourth Geneva Convention next week, which is expected to severely censure Israel for its actions in the West Bank and Gaza.
Switzerland, the Depository of the Fourth Geneva Convention, summoned the meeting following a request put forward by the Palestinian Authority after it joined the convention in April, following the breakdown of the US-backed Israeli-Palestinian negotiations… JPost
Canadian Foreign Affairs Minister John Baird today issued the following statement regarding the decision to convene a conference of the High Contracting Parties to the Geneva Conventions:
“Canada has conveyed its deep concerns and has communicated clearly that it will neither attend this conference nor lend it any credibility.
“Canada is deeply disappointed by the convening of this one-sided and politicized conference, which serves only to single out one country, Israel, for criticism. Canada has complete faith in the strength of the rule of law in Israel, and we believe the Israelis are capable of investigating matters surrounding the events that took place in Gaza in the summer of 2014.
“This conference risks undermining the integrity and credibility of the Geneva Conventions and the neutrality of their application.
“Such a misguided approach will neither serve the cause of peace nor bring the parties closer to a negotiated settlement.” Canada Foreign Affairs