Update: 25.04.2012

Second UPR procedure on Switzerland: NGO coalition’s submission

At the end of October 2012 Switzerland will undergo for the second time the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) of the UN Human Rights Council. With this in view, a coalition of 47 Swiss organisations joined forces and presented the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights with their coalition’s report on 23 April 2012.

Consent on important human rights issues

The UPR report by the Swiss NGO coalition claims to address the most important human rights issues in short. In addition, it recalls those recommendations of the 2008 UPR which were relevant but have still not been implemented.

The UPR was edited by a steering committee consisting of the Swiss section of Amnesty International, CODAP Geneva and humanrights.ch, depicting a consent of all 47 participating groups which are active in various fields in the area of basic and human rights.

Broad spread of issues

The NGO report contains the whole range of human rights issues, structured into the following parts:

  • Legal framework / Institutional questions / Ratifications (Items 1-10)
  • Protection against discrimination / Vulnerable minorities / Gender (Items 11-22)
  • Foreigners‘ and Asylum Law (Items 23-35)
  • Police and judiciary (Items 36-37)
  • Economy / Social rights (Items 38-41)

A maximum text length forced the authors to be concise. Every topic covered is accompanied by a recommendation to the Swiss authorities.

These recommendations partly address very basic questions, but some also deal with specific demands concerning particular issues.

Documentation

The Swiss NGO’s submission is available in German, French and English.

What’s next?

The Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights will compile two reports from which one will presumably be based strongly on the report by the Swiss NGO coalition.

These two official reports form the foundation for the states that decide to address a recommendation to Switzerland. In summer 2012, the Swiss NGO coalition also has the opportunity to use lobbying to draw the attention of selected states to certain issues, to make sure that the recommendations to Switzerland are selected and worded as fittingly as possible.

At the end of October 2012, an official Swiss delegation will then be confronted with the recommendations of these states at a UPR working group meeting. Switzerland then has time until the following session of the UN Human Rights Council in March 2013 to comment on the recommendations received by either accepting or refusing them.

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