The city of Basel in Switzerland has offered its homeless community a free one-way ticket to any other European destination if they agree to sign a contract, promising never to return.
Toprak Jergu, a spokesman for the Basel Ministry of Justice, told a local newspaper 20 minutes that homeless people in the city can request a travel voucher and 20 Swiss francs ($ 21.90). In return, individuals must sign a contract vowing not to return to the country for a certain period of time.
The official told the site that all those caught in breach of contract could be sent for deportation.
“Beneficiaries must undertake in writing not to return to Switzerland – at least for a certain period of time. If they are checked again, they risk being expelled from our country,”
Thirty-one homeless people have accepted the city’s offer, including 14 from Romania and seven from Germany, according to The News, an English-language newspaper published in Switzerland.
Critics reportedly called the offer “street cleaning.”
Switzerland, a Central European country home to mountains, lakes and villages, demonstrates a zero-tolerance approach to homelessness.
In January 2014, Geneva officials arrested a homeless woman after she failed to pay CHF 500 – $ 547 – a fine for begging on the streets. The European Court of Human Rights overturned the city’s ruling and ruled that their treatment of the homeless woman was contrary to the goal of protecting public rights.
The city was sentenced to pay the woman damages totaling 922 euros – $ 1108, according to The News.
In September 2016, the government of the Swiss canton of Vaud, which consists of 10 districts with the capital Lausanne, passed a law banning begging in the area.
Human rights groups and abandoned political organizations have tried to overturn the ban in Vaughn’s constitutional court, but a majority of judges have rejected their efforts. The groups then took their case to the country’s highest court, the Federal Tribunal, where their efforts were again rejected, The News reports.
Critics of the ban say the law excludes and criticizes people with little or no wealth. Proponents, on the other hand, called for the measure needed to protect citizens from organized crime groups that exploit the homeless community.
In 2018 guard the investigation revealed that councils in the uk were involved in such behavior by providing thousands of homeless people with a one-way ticket to leave some places within four years.
Newsweek turned to the Swiss Federal Ministry of Foreign Affairs for comment. This story will be updated with each response.