Human Rights Council country review: Federal Council adopts opinion on recommendations for Switzerland

Keywords: Human rights

Press Release, The Federal Council, 21.02.2018

At its meeting on 21 February 2018, the Federal Council adopted the joint opinion of the federal government and the cantons on the recommendations for Switzerland in the UN Human Rights Council's third Universal Periodic Review (UPR). The UN member states showed great interest in Switzerland's UPR, praising its commitment to human rights and humanitarian aid.

The Federal Council's decision is the culmination of a wide-ranging consultation of all the relevant federal offices, the cantons and non-governmental organisations. Switzerland will present its opinion at the 37th session of the UN Human Rights Council in Geneva on 15 March 2018. Over 100 states made a total of 251 recommendations regarding the human rights situation in Switzerland. The Federal Council has adopted 160 of these recommendations and rejected 91. In the years between now and Switzerland's next UPR, the focus will be on implementing the adopted recommendations and continuing the dialogue with all stakeholders.

The UPR gives a generally positive assessment of the human rights situation in Switzerland. This is Switzerland's third such review, following those in 2008 and 2012, and took place in a constructive atmosphere. Switzerland used the dialogue with UN member states to reflect on its current domestic human rights situation and show how it is continuously improving human rights at the federal and cantonal levels.

The international community's interest in the Swiss review not only testifies to Switzerland's active role in the UN Human Rights Council but also reflects its position as the host state of International Geneva. Through its human rights policy, Switzerland makes efforts both at home and abroad to contribute to peace and international security, to the prevention of conflict and violent extremism and to sustainable development and prosperity.

All UN member states are subject to the UPR, which takes place every four-and-a-half years.

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