Update: 20.07.2016

NGO Platform Human Rights

The NGO Platform Human Rights is a network of over 80 Swiss NGOs from both the German and French-speaking parts of Switzerland, and it represents a wide range of topics in the field of human rights. They all advocate the compliance with human rights in Switzerland and/or abroad.

The NGO Platform Human Rights was launched on 29 January 2013 after the foundations had been laid at a meeting on 7 December 2012, which was initiated by humanrights.ch.

Aim: strengthening human rights efforts

The NGO platform aims to strengthen human rights efforts in Switzerland. The network also accompanies the work of the Swiss Centre of Expertise in Human Rights (SCHR) and lobbies for the conversion of the SCHR into a national human rights institution that operates according to international standards.

In addition, the NGO platform performs two further coordination tasks for NGOs in the human rights field. These are the preparation of shadow reports for the reporting to international human rights institutions as well as the cooperation in the implementation of international recommendations given to Switzerland.

Organisational form: structured network

The NGO Platform Human Rights sees itself as a structured network and invites all Swiss organisations to participate. The only condition is that interested organisations explicitly focus their work on human rights.

The NGO platform is led by a core group consisting of 15 organisations. Its members have committed themselves to active cooperation; in return they have decision-making powers for all strategic issues.

The other participating NGOs belong to the «wider circle». The work of the platform is performed in working groups, which can include both member organisations of the core group and those of the wider circle. The network’s administrative office is located at Association Humanrights.ch in Bern.

Working groups of the NGO Platform Human Rights

In 2016, the following working groups are active:

Working Group Human Rights Institution

Active since 2013. Responsible for the lobbying for the creation of an independent national human rights institution (NHRI). The working group has developed a model for a NHRI as well as an accompanying brochure.

Contact: Alex Sutter

Working Group UPR

Active since 2013. The "Swiss NGO Coalition on the UPR" existing since 2008 was included into the NGO platform as an independent working group. It is reponsible for the preparation of the joint NGO report on the Universal Periodic Review on Switzerland by the Human Rights Council as well as for the supervision of the implementation of the UPR recommendations in Switzerland.

Contact: Alain Bovard

Working Group Foreign Policy

Active since 2016. Regular exchange of information with the Human Security Division of the FDFA regarding human rights strategy and consistency of the Swiss foreign policy.

Contact: Matthias Hui

Former NGO platform working groups

  • Working Group "Dialog EMRK" (Dialogue ECHR): Awareness-raising work on the safeguarding of the European Convention on Human Rights in Switzerland. In the meantime, the former working group has turned into the autonomous Association "Dialog EMRK" that promotes the "Schutzfaktor M" campaign and is a member of the core group of the NGO platform.

  • Working Group "CERD Shadow Report": Prepared the joint NGO report for the Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination at its February 2014 meeting.

  • Working Group "GRETA Evaluation 2014": NGO feedback to the Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) supervisory board of the Council of Europe.

Annual meetings of the NGO Platform Human Rights

Annual meeting 2016

The third annual meeting of the NGO Platform Human Rights took place on 22 June 2016. It focused on the Universal Periodic Review of Switzerland by the UN Human Rights Council. A first draft of the joint NGO report on the UPR 2017 was discussed and completed in working groups.

Annual meeting 2014

The second annual meeting of the NGO Platform Human Rights took place on 26 August 2014. It treated the topic "40 years of ECHR and Switzerland: a political achievement under pressure".

Annual meeting 2013

The first annual meeting of the NGO platform took place on 17 September 2013. It was organised under the theme «Towards an independent Swiss human right institution».

NGO meeting 2012

The idea for the NGO Platform Human Rights was already born on 24 August 2012 at an NGO meeting.

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