Field trip to Switzerland
The first field trip of the Transnational Exchange V could be successfully implemented despite of the ongoing pandemic. The field trip took place from the 20th to the 23rd of September 2021 with seven participants from the following countries: Austria, Denmark, Belgium, France, Germany and the Netherlands. Respecting the necessary hygiene and safety measures seven organizations were able to host the visiting AVRR counsellors and to explain to them the Swiss asylum and return counselling system. The Swiss Red Cross Bern gave a short introduction to return counselling in detention centers. After learning more about the asylum procedure from the Bern Legal Counselling center for people in need the group met up with IOM. IOM International gave a short presentation about the new Policy on the Full Spectrum of Return, Readmission and Reintegration and the IOM BAZ counsellors talked about their AVRR counselling offer in the federal reception centers (BAZ). The program of the second day was also filled with several appointments. After a short exchange with Caritas Switzerland the group was invited to visit an employment program in the Swiss hill moor for potential returnees implemented by Caritas Switzerland and financed by the Office for Migration Schwyz. The program of the field trip also included a visit to a reception camp and a meeting with the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) which oversees and finances the AVRR counselling in Switzerland as well as the return and reintegration assistance.