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A Third of Ukrainian Refugees in Switzerland Want to Return Home

Around a third of Ukrainian refugees in Switzerland hope one day to return to their country of origin, according to a survey.

The majority, 40%, are undecided on the matter, according to a survey conducted by the UN High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR), the Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) and Ipsos.

Another third of the Ukrainians questioned in the survey said they did not wish to return to their country. The main obstacles to return cited were security problems and the Russian occupation of the region in which they were living, lack of access to healthcare, and lack of work and livelihood opportunities.

Twenty-one per cent of Ukrainians who had fled their country were working in Switzerland at the time of the survey. For half of them, however, their current job was at a lower level than their previous job in Ukraine. Around a third of those surveyed were unemployed, while a quarter said they were in vocational training.

Language barrier

For the respondents, the language barrier is the biggest obstacle to their integration into the labour market. This is followed by a lack of job opportunities that match their qualifications, insufficient training and insufficient recognition of qualifications acquired in their country.

A total of 69% of Ukrainian refugees in Switzerland have a university degree. A clear majority of 79% are women and children. Most of them arrived in Switzerland shortly after the start of the Russian invasion, between February and April 2022.

The survey is based on 1,125 interviews conducted between March 30 and May 1 via an online questionnaire.

According to the latest figures from the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), around 66,100 people from Ukraine with “S” protection status are still in Switzerland. More than 20,000 have left the country.

Source: Swiss Info

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