Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA)
Human Security Division
Section for Human Rights Policy


Bundesgasse 32
3003 Bern

Contact person

Human Security Division
Sandra Lendenmann Winterberg
Head of Section
+41 58 485 29 31

Further contacts

Müller Benjamin
Deputy Head of Section
+41 58 482 24 14

Operating range

  • International

Relevant duties in the context of human rights

The promotion of human rights is an integral part of Swiss foreign policy. Switzerland's commitment to human rights, democracy and the rule of law is one of its five foreign policy objectives. There are two principal reasons for this. Firstly, Switzerland has a long humanitarian tradition, and, secondly, the defence of rights arising from human dignity serves peace and international stability. Switzerland has many instruments at its disposal to help strengthen respect for human rights and to counter violations, including political, diplomatic, legal and economic resources, as well as tools used in connection with development co-operation.

Main work in the human rights field

  • Human rights monitoring
  • Lobbying / Networking / Human rights policies
  • Education

Protection of vulnerable groups

  • Women
  • Homosexuals
  • Indigenous peoples
  • Children and adolescents
  • Cultural, religious, linguistic minorities

Issues our organisation works on

  • Foreign policy
  • Torture / inhuman treatment
  • Women’s rights / gender equality
  • Global compact / corporate social responsibility
  • National human rights institution / ombudsman
  • Swiss human rights policy
  • Sexual identity / homosexuals

International Reference


  • Human Rights Council
  • Human Rights Committee (HRC)
  • Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights (CESCR)
  • Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)


  • OSCE

Current projects with human rights focus

  • Mainstreaming of Human Rights in the Swiss Federal Administration
  • UPR on Switzerland
  • National Human Rights Commission
  • Reform of the UN Commission on Human Rights

Publications on human rights issues

Swiss Guidelines on the Protection of the Human Rights Defenders

  • FDFA Human Rights Strategy 2016-2019

© humanrights.ch / MERS - Hallerstr. 23 - CH-3012 Bern - Tel. +41 31 302 01 61