The Federal Council takes stock of human rights compliance in Switzerland

Keywords: Human rights

Press Release, The Federal Council, 28.06.2017

The Federal Council has adopted the third national report that Switzerland will submit to the UN Human Rights Council in November 2017 as part of the Universal Periodic Review. The report gives an overview of the human rights situation in Switzerland and of the most important measures it has taken in this respect in recent years.

The Universal Periodic Review (UPR) is a key international mechanism for monitoring the implementation of human rights obligations. Every UN member state is required to undergo a UPR by other member states every five years. The recommendations made to each state provide an important political framework to monitor the efforts undertaken by member states to improve their own human rights record. Switzerland will undergo its third UPR at the Human Rights Council in November 2017.

The report adopted by the Federal Council was drawn up on the basis of the 99 recommendations accepted by Switzerland during its last UPR in October 2012. These recommendations deal among other matters with migration, gender equality, protection of minorities and the fight against trafficking in human beings. The report sets out the legal, political and administrative measures taken and the progress made in human rights protection in Switzerland since 2012. It also outlines the challenges that Switzerland still faces in certain areas, such as combating racial discrimination and ensuring equal pay. The Federal Council is of the opinion that the level of human rights protection in Switzerland can generally speaking be described as good.

Switzerland's third national report for the UPR is the result of a wide-ranging consultation process carried out within the federal government and with the cantons, civil society and representatives of the private sector. Switzerland’s first two UPRs (in 2007 and 2012) and the monitoring of its implementation of the recommendations it accepted as part of the UPR process led to constructive dialogue between the different stakeholders concerning human rights compliance in Switzerland. The Federal Council wishes to continue this dialogue during the third UPR.

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