Up to 40 percent of refugees who asked for asylum in Switzerland over the past three months reportedly disappeared from Swiss reception centers shortly afterwards, with their whereabouts unknown to the authorities.
The country’s State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) confirmed that within the last quarter some 20 to 40 percent of refugees who have been assigned to reception centers have vanished from the monitoring system completely, Swiss newspaper SonntagsZeitung reports.
Some 9,000 refugee children reported missing in Germany
The migration authority, however, did not provide exact figures for each reception center.
Most of those who disappeared from Swiss reception centers have most likely traveled further into Europe, heading for Germany, SEM spokeswoman Chloe Kohlprath told ATS news agency, as cited by news outlet 20 Minuten.
Under Swiss legislation, refugees may only enter the country if they apply for asylum. Anyone with no intention of staying in Switzerland is refused entry, and those who do are sent to SEM reception centers while their asylum applications are processed.
Kohlprath said the problem was actually not surprising, as migrants have been increasingly using the loopholes in the Swiss migration system, claiming they wanted asylum in Switzerland upon arrival but vanishing before their request was officially registered.