This thesis is based on the case studies of a number of asylum seekers whose applications were dismissed in Switzerland and who consequently solicited emergency assistance under the provisions of Article 12 of the Swiss Federal Constitution. Adopting a bottom up approach, it aims to challenge the stereotypical image of “false refugees” or “abusers of asylum”, emphasizing agency and ability rather than victimization and disability of rejected asylum seekers. While acknowledging and discussing the difficulties and constraints they experience, this thesis examines the resources they are able to draw on and the personal strategies they develop in order to cope with their predicament.