With the Swiss Chairmanship of the OSCE, fighting torture is currently in the spotlight as one of Switzerland's priorities for action in the area of human rights. In Tajikistan, Switzerland is encouraging the authorities to ratify all international instruments related to the prevention of torture and to comply with the corresponding stipulations. Through projects on the ground, Switzerland is supporting improvements in the monitoring of detention facilities and the inclusion of civil society in this process.
Early marriage is another key topic for Switzerland in the area of human rights both at the multilateral and bilateral levels. This phenomenon is especially pronounced in Tajikistan owing to high emigration – around 10% of the population – which creates an imbalance in the number of men and women. Spurred on by its achievements in the protection of women and prevention of domestic violence in Tajikistan – Switzerland advised Tajikistan on a new law that entered into force in 2013 – the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) intends to directly support the government's efforts to improve protection from early marriage for girls and young women.
The three other topics discussed during the talks concerned preparations and monitoring for the universal periodic review of the Human Rights Council, the human rights of migrants and the death penalty. Regarding the latter point, Switzerland took the opportunity to reiterate its objective of global abolition of capital punishment by 2025. Switzerland is encouraging Tajikistan to move on from the moratorium on executions currently in place and take the next step by legally abolishing the death penalty.
The Swiss delegation was led by Ambassador Paul Koller, the special envoy for human rights issues within the Human Security Division of the FDFA. It was Mr Koller's last mission in this office. His successor is Ambassador Nicole Wyrsch.
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