Update: 19.08.2011

Life, right to

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 10 (Right to life and to personal freedom): (1) Everyone has the right to life. The death penalty is prohibited. [...]

European Convention for the Protection of Human Rights and Fundamental Freedoms

Article 2 (Right to life): (1) Everyone's right to life shall be protected by law. No one shall be deprived of his life intentionally save in the execution of a sentence of a court following his conviction of a crime for which this penalty is provided by law.
(2) Deprivation of life shall not be regarded as inflicted in contravention of this article when it results from the use of force which is no more than absolutely necessary:
(a) in defence of any person from unlawful violence;
(b) in order to effect a lawful arrest or to prevent the escape of a person lawfully detained;
(c) in action lawfully taken for the purpose of quelling a riot or insurrection.

Universal Declaration of Human Rights

Article 3: Everyone has the right to life, liberty and security of person.

International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights

Article 6: (1) Every human being has the inherent right to life. This right shall be protected by law. No one shall be arbitrarily deprived of his life.
(2) In countries which have not abolished the death penalty, sentence of death may be imposed only for the most serious crimes in accordance with the law in force at the time of the commission of the crime and not contrary to the provisions of the present Covenant and to the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide. This penalty can only be carried out pursuant to a final judgement rendered by a competent court.
(3) When deprivation of life constitutes the crime of genocide, it is understood that nothing in this article shall authorize any State Party to the present Covenant to derogate in any way from any obligation assumed under the provisions of the Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide.
(4) Anyone sentenced to death shall have the right to seek pardon or commutation of the sentence. Amnesty, pardon or commutation of the sentence of death may be granted in all cases.
(5) Sentence of death shall not be imposed for crimes committed by persons below eighteen years of age and shall not be carried out on pregnant women.
(6) Nothing in this article shall be invoked to delay or to prevent the abolition of capital punishment by any State Party to the present Covenant.

Convention on the Rights of the Child

Article 6: (1) States Parties recognize that every child has the inherent right to life.
(2) States Parties shall ensure to the maximum extent possible the survival and development of the child.

International Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of Their Families

Article 9: The right to life of migrant workers and members of their families shall be protected by law.

(This Convention has not been ratified by Switzerland.)

Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities

Article 10 (Right to life): States Parties reaffirm that every human being has the inherent right to life and shall take all necessary measures to ensure its effective enjoyment by persons with disabilities on an equal basis with others.

(This Convention has not been ratified by Switzerland.)

Convention on the Prevention and Punishment of the Crime of Genocide

This Convention in its entirety is relevant to the topic right to life, however we have detailed below the legal definition of genocide.

Article 2: In the present Convention, genocide means any of the following acts committed with intent to destroy, in whole or in part, a national, ethnical, racial or religious group, as such:
(a) Killing members of the group;
(b) Causing serious bodily or mental harm to members of the group;
(c) Deliberately inflicting on the group conditions of life calculated to bring about its physical destruction in whole or in part;
(d) Imposing measures intended to prevent births within the group;
(e) Forcibly transferring children of the group to another group.

Sources: 

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