Switzerland to house up to 300.000 Ukrainian refugees in the next year alone
Despite assurances by Swiss Justice Minister Karin Keller-Sutter that only 50.000 refugees could reach Switzerland by June, authorities in Swiss cantons have said that they expect as many as 300.000 Ukrainian refugees by the end of the year, according to a report by NZZ am Sonntag.
Up to 300.000 refugees to be cared for in Switzerland
The conflict in Ukraine has led to the fastest and one of the largest displacements of people since the Second World War. More than 3 million people have fled the fighting so far, including around 1,5 million children.
The State Secretariat for Migration has said that between 500 and 1.000 refugees are arriving in Switzerland every day. Marcel Suter, president of the cantonal migration authorities, told NZZ am Sonntag that up to 300.000 Ukrainians are expected to be in Switzerland by the end of the year, and that it was a situation that every canton and city must adapt to.
Integration and education the key issues for refugees in Switzerland
One of the key issues raised by Swiss media is the effort required to integrate Ukrainian children into the Swiss school system. An estimated 20.000 extra students will enter primary and secondary education in the coming months, most of whom will not have learnt German, French, Italian or Romansh.
Newspaper La Matin Dimanche noted that a shortage of qualified teachers will make the situation more difficult. Schools are expected to be “pushed to their limits,” with Dagmar Rösler, president of the German-speaking teachers' union, claiming that student numbers may rise by up to 10 percent in some areas because of the number of refugee children.
Already, cantons are calling on teachers who are retired, part-time workers, students at Swiss universities, and Ukrainian refugees with teaching experience to come forward and teach classes. Most importantly, Rösler said that each class should have adequate psychological support for refugee children.
See how you can help Ukrainian refugees in Switzerland
The humanitarian crisis developing in Ukraine has led many to ask what they can do to help Ukrainian refugees in Switzerland. For more information on how to get involved, check out our guide.