Update: 08.07.2015

Federal Council delays decision on Swiss human rights institution

On 1 July 2015, the Federal Council further delayed its expected decision on the creation of a national human rights institution. An internal working group is set to review all the options again, including the rejection of the national human rights institution. For the time being, the existing Swiss Centre of Expertise in Human Rights (SCHR) will continue its activities for another five years, irrespective of the Federal Council’s final decision on the future of a human rights institution.

Position of the «NGO Platform Human Rights»

The NGO Platform Human Rights is deeply disappointed that the Federal Council has postponed its fundamental decision on the creation of a national human rights institution for another six months. Apparently the Federal Council is unable to agree on such an independent institution, even after 15 years of discussion.

An external evaluation of the five-year SCHR pilot project conducted in the spring of 2015 clearly came out in favour of the creation of a national Swiss human rights institution. It seems its findings were not enough for the Federal Council.

«The more than 80 NGOs joined together in the NGO Platform Human Rights cannot understand the Federal Council’s failure to publish its opinion. Our expectations in this issue have been disappointed too frequently before», says humanrights.ch member Alex Sutter of the NGO Platform Human Rights.

The NGO platform believes the SCHR has repeatedly proved its ability to accurately analyse the human rights situation in Switzerland in the past it, even though does not yet receive sufficient support from the Confederation.

«The continuation of the SCHR is not an alternative for an independent human rights institution but merely a temporary solution until this target is achieved» says Sutter.

Switzerland needs a legally anchored, national human rights institution with a broad mandate and institutional independence, as the UN has planned and repeatedly recommended to Switzerland. It needs a strong political voice to fight for fundamental human rights for all persons living in Switzerland.

A brochure shows what the NGO platform expects from an independent human rights institution. It can be accessed at:

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