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Press release, 17.11.2021

On 16 and 17 November 2021, the UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination examined Switzerland's latest periodic report on its implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (CERD). A delegation from the federal government and the cantons presented the report in Geneva and answered questions from committee members.

In its presentation, the delegation highlighted those areas in which Switzerland has made efforts and great progress since 2014, in particular the cantonal integration programmes which include protection against discrimination. These are a good example of the implementation of human rights obligations in a federal direct democracy. It also mentioned the establishment of counselling centres for victims of racism, the extension of the scope of anti-racism laws to include discrimination based on sexual orientation, and the adoption of the act to establish a national human rights institution (NHRI).

Switzerland has a long tradition of striving for a society based on mutual respect, in which people can live together in peace.

What does the report contain and how will it be reviewed?
The Federal Council approved Switzerland's report on its implementation of the International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination in November 2018. The report contains information on legal and political developments in Switzerland and the commitment of authorities at every government level to combat racial discrimination in all its forms since the last state party report was presented February 2014.

In particular, the report lists legislative, judicial and administrative measures taken to implement the Convention effectively. The committee of independent experts reviews the report in dialogue with the states parties. The committee then formulates its concerns and recommendations in writing for the attention of the state party under review.

Switzerland acceded to the convention in 1994
The International Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Racial Discrimination (1965) codifies the prohibition of racial discrimination and provides for additional obligations to prevent and combat such discrimination. As of 1 October 2021, 182 states were party to the Convention. Switzerland acceded to the Convention in November 1994.


Further information:

Service for Combating Racism


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Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

Last update 28.01.2022

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