Switzerland offers foreigners little protection against discrimination and counts among the worst countries in Europe for the integration of migrants, according to a recent study.
The Alpine country ranks 23rd of 31 countries in the Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) published by the British Council.
Switzerland has made no major changes since 2007, the study found, and has fallen behind reforming countries in Central and Eastern Europe. The MIPEX survey examines integration policies in all 27 European Union countries, as well as Switzerland, Norway, United States and Canada.
Only Latvia provides less protection against discrimination of foreigners than Switzerland, the study found. The country had ”no dedicated laws” and had not made any progress since 2007.
”Since Switzerland’s limited definitions do not directly extend to the major areas of life, residents are exposed to discrimination on many grounds,” the study said.
“Swiss enforcement mechanisms are weak. Victims can only bring individual cases and only to court, with no sharing the burden of proof, State aid or protections against victimisation.”
Non-EU residents had limited labour market access and general support, the study said, with most cantons closing off parts of the public sector.
Migrants can also face “restrictive conditions for family reunion, long term residence and naturalisation."
Sweden topped the rankings in the third edition of the study, which is led by the British Council and the Migration Policy Group.
Migrant Integration Policy Index (MIPEX) top ten: