Switzerland migrant children demand immigration policy apology

Children of migrants who came to work in Switzerland over decades are demanding an apology for a policy they say destroyed families and left many traumatised.

From the 1950s right up until the 1990s, hundreds of thousands of workers – first from Italy, then from Spain, Portugal, and what was then Yugoslavia – made the journey to Switzerland.

They worked in factories, on roads and building sites, in restaurants and hotels. Switzerland’s highly successful economy, its good infrastructure, is without doubt due in part to them.

But there were flaws in the system. The migrants were given nine- or 12-month permits; many lived in barracks, their only function in Switzerland was to work.

And family members – including young children – were not allowed. A husband and wife could work together in Switzerland, but, the work permits stipulated, their children had to stay at home.

Egidio Stigliano, now in his 60s, remembers being taken at the age of three by his grandmother to wave to a train…

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This article was written by and originally published on www.bbc.co.uk