Securing one's basic needs and emergency relief
On this page you will find legal guarantees and other regulations from the Swiss Federal Constitution, the European and international human rights treaties and further documents under international law. This list is not intended to be exhaustive, as regulations from other regional treaties and topically similar safeguarding provisions of international humanitarian law are not included.
Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation of 18 April 1999
(English is not an official language of the Swiss Confederation. This translation is provided for information purposes only and has no legal force.)
Article 12 (Right to assistance when in distress): Persons in distress and unable to provide for themselves have the right to assistance and care, and to the financial means required for a decent standard of living.
European Social Charter
Article 13 (The right to social and medical assistance): With a view to ensuring the effective exercise of the right to social and medical assistance, the Parties undertake: (1) to ensure that any person who is without adequate resources and who is unable to secure such resources either by his own efforts or from other sources, in particular by benefits under a social security scheme, be granted adequate assistance, and, in case of sickness, the care necessitated by his condition; [...]
(3) to provide that everyone may receive by appropriate public or private services such advice and personal help as may be required to prevent, to remove, or to alleviate personal or family want;
(4) to apply the provisions referred to in paragraphs 1, 2 and 3 of this article on an equal footing with their nationals to nationals of other Parties lawfully within their territories, in accordance with their obligations under the European Convention on Social and Medical Assistance, signed at Paris on 11 December 1953.
Universal Declaration of Human Rights
Article 25: (1) Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing, housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood, old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.
(2) Motherhood and childhood are entitled to special care and assistance. All children, whether born in or out of wedlock, shall enjoy the same social protection.
International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
Article 11: (1) The States Parties to the present Covenant recognize the right of everyone to an adequate standard of living for himself and his family, including adequate food, clothing and housing, and to the continuous improvement of living conditions. The States Parties will take appropriate steps to ensure the realization of this right, recognizing to this effect the essential importance of international co-operation based on free consent.
(2) The States Parties to the present Covenant, recognizing the fundamental right of everyone to be free from hunger, shall take, individually and through international co-operation, the measures, including specific programmes, which are needed:
(2.a) To improve methods of production, conservation and distribution of food by making full use of technical and scientific knowledge, by disseminating knowledge of the principles of nutrition and by developing or reforming agrarian systems in such a way as to achieve the most efficient development and utilization of natural resources;
(2.b) Taking into account the problems of both food-importing and food-exporting countries, to ensure an equitable distribution of world food supplies in relation to need.
Convention on the Rights of the Child
Article 6: [...] (2) States Parties shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child.
Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
Article 11 (Situations of risk and humanitarian emergencies): States Parties shall take, in accordance with their obligations under international law, including international humanitarian law and international human rights law, all necessary measures to ensure the protection and safety of persons with disabilities in situations of risk, including situations of armed conflict, humanitarian emergencies and the occurrence of natural disasters.
- European Social Charter
- Universal Declaration of Human Rights – Article 25
- International Covenant on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
- Convention on the Rights of the Child
- Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities