Education and training

Schooling and training allow children and young migrants to acquire solid foundations for an eventual return to their countries of origin or for their integration in Switzerland or in a third country.

Right to education and training

"In the work in contact with the UAM and the definition of their daily program, emphasis should be put on deepening their academic and professional knowledge, by providing them with access to educational opportunities and training, as well as development prospects. This is to enable them to access, without discrimination, to education and training opportunities and to help them in their search of employment or apprenticeship."

Recommendations of the CDAS on children and unaccompanied youth in the field of asylum, 2016

At the European level, see the recommendations of the Children's Programme separated in Europe (SCEP): Statement of good practice, 2010


Youth, that are at the age of compulsory education including primary or secondary school, should be enrolled as soon as possible after arrival in their canton of residence. Each child must be registered with appropriate school authorities without delay and receive assistance to maximize their learning opportunities. They may therefore benefit from specific measures such as reception classes, language classes, tutoring, etc.

Access to training - an essential step!

If the right to education of children asylum seekers and undocumented migrants is a right recognized in Switzerland for over twenty years, access to post-compulsory education still raises many questions. After compulsory schooling, young people have the opportunity to pursue a full-time school (college, trade school, etc.). Access to vocational training, which is often problematic for young people without legal status, has been widely discussed in recent years through various initiatives by politicians and Swiss organizations. The amendment to Article 30a of the Ordinance on admission, residence and gainful employment (OASA), adopted by the Federal Council on 7 December 2012, provides access to apprenticeships for undocumented youth.

Since February 1, 2013, young undocumented migrants in Switzerland have the option, under certain conditions, to do a professional apprenticeship. They must be well integrated (mastering a national language and respect for the law) and have attended compulsory schooling in Switzerland at least five years.For more information, see "Clandestinity"

A factor of integration or reintegration

Schooling and training are important factors of development and integration for children and young migrants who stay in Switzerland. They not only support the development of skills of the young, but also promote autonomy and accountability. They thus represent an essential baggage for both the youth that return and reintegrate in their country of origin as well as those that permanently stay and integrate in Switzerland or in a third country.