Update: 06.09.2017

Draft act for a national human rights institution: humanrights.ch statement

On 28 June 2017, the Federal Council submitted a draft bill for consultation that will serve as a basis for the establishment of a national human rights institution (NHRI). This bill governs repeating basic funding and regulates sponsorship and responsibilities of the future NHRI.

Statement by humanrights.ch

On 22 August 2017, Association humanrights.ch sent a reaction to the draft bill to the Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) welcoming the Federal Council’s decision to create a national human rights institution and for mentioning the Paris Principles in the draft as a basis for establishing the institution.

Humanrights.ch also stated the need to optimise the present draft bill. Association humanrights.ch signalled its general discomfort with the fact that “one or several universities or other institutions in the higher education sector” would sponsor the NHRI. It remains to be seen if it is possible to create an independent legal entity in the future if NHRI is too closely linked to universities.

The statement by Association humanrights.ch contains a number of specific areas for improvement. The most important issues are extending the mandate to supervise the human rights situation in Switzerland, promoting access to justice and to foreign policy, and guaranteeing institutional independence through a separate legal entity.

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