Federal Councillor Alain Berset, head of the FDHA, opened the conference with a speech in which he set out Switzerland's commitment to prevent and combat gender-based violence.
For the FDFA, women's human rights are a priority of Swiss human rights policy. Violations of women's human rights however do not occur only in other countries, they happen in Switzerland too, and the protection of these rights demands both a legal framework and targeted measures, as the FDFA Secretary-General, Benno Bättig, explained.
By signing and ratifying various international conventions, such as the Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW), Switzerland has acknowledged the need to take measures to prevent and combat domestic violence, human trafficking and forced prostitution, genital mutilation and forced marriage.
The national conference addressed the most important international legal instruments on preventing and combating gender-based violence, with the discussion focusing on the Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence, also known as the "Istanbul Convention", which Switzerland signed in summer 2013, and on the results of this year's United Nations Commission on the Status of Women (CSW) on this issue.
What opportunities do these international agreements open up for Switzerland? How are the agreements implemented in Switzerland by the federal and cantonal administrations, and what role does civil society have?
These questions were followed up in the framework of lectures, workshops and a "market place" with information stands. The conference not only offered insights into the latest developments at the international level but also a space to present and discuss innovative forward-looking projects on the prevention and elimination of gender violence at the federal and cantonal levels.
Domestic violence (FOGE):
Web Dossier FDFA - International Day for the Elimination of Violence against Women:
Council of Europe Convention on preventing and combating violence against women and domestic violence (Istanbul Convention):
Handbook for parliamentarians:
Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women (CEDAW):
16 Days of Activism Against Gender Violence Campaign:
Address for enquiries:
Ms Sylvie Durrer, director FOGE
Tel: +41 (0)31 322 68 40
Tel: +41 (31) 322 31 53