Update: 20.10.2010

NGO shadow reports on the implementation of social rights in Switzerland

In view of the Swiss states parties report procedure before the UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights in November 2010, two Swiss NGO coalitions deposited their shadow reports with the Committee.

An NGO coalition led by Humanrights.ch issued an assessment on the implementation of social rights in Switzerland and forwarded it to the Committee in mid-September 2010. In addition, the «Coalition suisse romande sur le droits économiques, sociaux et culturels» came up with its own report for the Committee. Further submissions of international organisations can be found on the website of the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights.

Swiss human rights organisations, aid organisations and trade unions have found diverse problems and deficiencies in the implementation of social rights. In particular, they claim that in Switzerland the social rights take second place: In comparison with the classic basic rights, the Swiss Constitution does not consider them as rights but as programmatic provisions (see Art. 41 of the Federal Constitution). For this reason they are enforceable but to a very limited extent. The organisations are also worried about delicate gaps in the implementation of economic, social and cultural rights for foreign persons and minorities.

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