HRC 53 SRI, Santé Sexuelle & partners' Statement to Switzerland UPR

Published on July 07, 2023

Human Rights Council - 53th Session

Outcome of the Universal Periodic Review- Switzerland 

Thank you, President

Action Canada makes this statement is made on behalf of SANTE SEXUELLE SUISSE, Alliance JUSTICE4NZOY, la Permanence juridique pour les jeunes personnes migrantes non accompagnées, l’AJP, Collectif Afro-Swiss and the Sexual Rights Initiative. 

We welcome Switzerland’s acceptance of multiple recommendations on meeting its sexual and reproductive rights-related obligations, including through ensuring equal access for all to comprehensive sexuality education, an issue which has also been raised in other UN-monitoring processes and in Swiss parliament. We also welcome the recommendations made that contribute to the elimination of discrimination against intersex, trans and queer people, and to an inclusive and non-discriminatory approach to the implementation of the Istanbul Convention. Switzerland must increase its efforts in prevention, protection, and prosecution in order to combat gender-based and domestic violence and to promote gender equality. 

We regret that Switzerland did not receive any recommendations on access to contraception during its fourth cycle, despite it being an area of concern as many cannot afford contraception. The Federal Commission for Family Affairs also stated in a recent policy brief that poor people cannot access contraception due to high costs. We call on Switzerland to ensure that contraception is accessible for all, and covered by health insurance.

Finally, we regret Switzerland’s inconsistent approach to recommendations received on addressing racism and racial discrimination. We remain concerned by structural racism in Switzerland, and its varied manifestations as illustrated through barriers to accessing affordable health services or housing, through restrictive immigration rules and related border harassment, or through a lack of accountability for racial profiling, police harassment, brutality, and murder- as recently exemplified through the acquittal of the police officers who murdered Mike Ben Peter. It is apparent that the lives of black people carry little weight in the eyes of the law.

We call on Switzerland to end the impunity of the police and to regard its international law obligations to address racism with gravity. 

Thank you.