11 June 2012

Tunisia: Govt, Switzerland Sign MOU On Migration Issues

Tunis — Tunisia and Switzerland, Monday, signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) on migration issues.

The MoU, which was signed in Tunis by Foreign Affairs Minister Rafik Abdessalem and Mrs. Simonetta Sommaruga, Head of the Swiss Federal Department of Justice and Police, defines the areas of intervention of each country and paves the way for migration to Switzerland as part of a "cooperative approach."

It also provides for the training of 150 Tunisian youth per year for a period of about 18 months.

This training will help Tunisian youth participate in a training session in a Swiss company and integrate the Swiss market if they manage to get a job there.

This agreement also provides for easing stay in Switzerland for some social and professional categories (businessmen, doctors...).

It also covers Tunisian students who may benefit, beyond the period of studies, of an additional period of stay to gain professional experience.

Under this MoU, an assistance worth 6,000 Swiss Francs (10 thousand Tunisian dinars) will be given by the Swiss authorities to any Tunisian in an irregular situation who will be sent back to his country.

The return of Tunisians will be made in small groups of 2 to 3 persons maximum in respect of human dignity and the human rights convention.

In 2011, 2,570 requests for political asylums in Switzerland were made by Tunisians. Only two cases were accepted.

Since the Revolution of January 14, Switzerland has decided to bring support to Tunisia in regional development.

It has allocated a budget of 8 million Swiss Francs per year for a period of 5 years to the realisation of development projects.

The support brought by Switzerland to Tunisia is centered around three key areas: support to democratic transition and human rights, economic development and job creation and sustainable management of migration and protection of refugees in camps in southern Tunisia.

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