Summary: This report extracts mentions of children's rights issues in the reports of all UN Treaty Bodies and their follow-up procedures. This does not include the Concluding Observations of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child which are available here: http://www.crin.org/resources/treaties/index.asp
Please note that the language may have been edited in places for the purpose of clarity.
- UN Human Rights Committee
- UN Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights
- UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination
- UN Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women
- UN Committee against Torture
- UN Subcommittee on Prevention of Torture
- UN Committee on Migrant Workers
- UN Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities
- UN Committee on Enforced Disappearance
Last reported: 12 / 13 October 2009
Concluding Observations issued: 27 October 2009
No mentions of children's rights
Last reported: 5 / 8 November 2010
Concluding Observations issued: 19 November 2010
Issues raised and recommendations given:
Sexual abuse: The Committee notes with concern the lack of information about the extent of sexual abuse and exploitation of children, particularly of vulnerable groups, in the State party (art. 10). (Paragraph 14).
The Committee recommends that the State party conduct a comprehensive assessment of the extent of sexual abuse of children, with a view to reviewing the need for additional legislative or administrative measures to address the problem.
Suicide: The Committee is concerned about the high rate of suicides in the State party, which is reported to be three to four daily, in particular among young people. The Committee is also concerned about reports that a large number of suicides are committed with easily accessible firearms (art. 12). (Paragraph 19).
The Committee recommends that the State party take effective measures to combat suicide, including through the adoption and implementation of a national action plan for the prevention of suicide. The Committee also recommends that the State party conduct systematic surveys and undertake scientific studies on the root causes of suicide. The Committee further recommends that the State undertake measures restricting access to firearms kept at home in connection with service in the army.
Sex education: The Committee notes with concern the inadequacy of sex education and of measures to promote sexual and reproductive health in the State party (art. 12). (Paragraph 20).
The Committee recommends that the State party adopt concrete programmes on sex education as well as on sexual and reproductive health including in school curricula. The Committee requests the State party to provide information in its next periodic report on its progress in this regard.
Human rights education: The Committee regrets that human rights education is not given sufficient attention in the State party (art. 13). (Paragraph 21).
The Committee reminds the State party that human rights education and training is an obligation of State under article 13 of the Covenant. The Committee urges the State party to promote human rights through human rights education in schools, in awareness-raising and information campaigns for the public at large, and in training programmes for judges, public authorities and all agents of the State.
Education: The Committee is concerned about the insufficiency of preschool education facilities for children from 3 to 7 years old, as well as the insufficient number of places in childcare centres for children from 0 to 3 years old, in some cantons (art. 13). (Paragraph 22).
The Committee encourages the State party to promote the harmonization of standards for access to preschool education facilities and childcare centres, so as to ensure that all children living in the territory of the State party have the same opportunities to benefit from childcare and preschool education.
Last reported: 14 and 17 February 2014
Concluding Observations issued: 13 March 2014
Issues raised and recommendations given:
Persons granted temporary admission: While welcoming the humanitarian basis of the provisional admission status granted to persons who have fled conflict and generalized violence and cannot return to their home countries (“F” permit), the Committee expresses deep concern at the undue hardship faced by persons who are granted such status if they remain in the State party for a long time. It notes with concern that this status is not linked with a residence permit, and imposes restrictions on “F” permit holders in most areas of their lives, which could give rise to de facto discrimination against such vulnerable non-citizens, including: (a) restrictions on freedom of movement, including from one canton to another within the State party, as well as travel abroad; (c) the lengthy waiting period of three years or more for family reunification, which also requires an adequate level of income and a suitable place of accommodation; and (d) limited access to educational and training opportunities and to health care (art. 5).
The Committee urges the State party to eliminate any indirect discrimination and undue obstacles for persons granted provisional admission status to enjoy their basic human rights. In this regard, the Committee reminds the State party that differential treatment based on citizenship or immigration status will constitute discrimination if the criteria for differentiation, judged in the light of the objectives and purposes of the Convention, are not applied pursuant to a legitimate aim and are not proportional to the achievement of that aim, as set out in the Committee’s general recommendation No. 30 (2004) on discrimination against non-citizens. The Committee recommends that the State party eliminate disproportionate restrictions on the rights of provisionally admitted persons, in particular those who have been in the State party for a long time, by enabling them to move freely within the State party and by facilitating the process of family unification and access to employment, educational opportunities and health care.
Education on combating racial discrimination: While noting various measures taken by the State party to promote the integration of foreigners and ethnic and religious communities in the State party, the Committee expresses concern at the absence of campaigns directed at the public to combat racial discrimination throughout the State party. It also reiterates its concern at the lack of a national action plan to combat racial discrimination, as referred to in the Durban Declaration and Programme of Action (arts. 2 and 7).
The Committee reminds the State party that integration is a two-way process involving both majority and minority communities, and recommends that the State party adopt additional measures targeting the majority community to combat racial discrimination. In this regard, the Committee reiterates its previous recommendation that the State party adopt a national action plan to combat racial discrimination, and carry out information campaigns to raise awareness among the public o f the manifestation s and harms of racial discrimination. It also encourages the State party to ensure that school curricula, textbooks and teaching materials are informed by and address human rights themes and seek to promote mutual respect and tolerance among nations and racial and ethnic groups.
Last reported: 8 / 11 August 2008
Concluding Observations issued: 14 August 2008
Issues raised and recommendations given:
Minority groups and education: While noting with appreciation that Travellers/Yenish have been recognized by the State party as a national cultural minority under the Council of Europe’s Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities, the Committee remains concerned that Travellers, including Yenish, Sinti and Roma, are still subjected to numerous disadvantages and forms of discrimination, particularly in the areas of housing and education. It notes with concern the lack of adequate measures to protect their language and culture as well as the persistence of racial stereotyping against them. (arts.2 and 5) . (Paragraph 19).
The Committee recommends once again that the State party strengthen its efforts to improve the situation of Travellers, in particular with regard to the means and enjoyment of their rights to housing, education and cultural rights. The State party should adopt a national coordinating policy aimed at protecting Travellers’ rights.
Concluding Observations published: 18 November 2016
Legislative framework: The Committee notes as positive the decision taken by the Federal Court to analyse in detail the State party’s obligations arising from article 2 (a) of the Convention and from the Committees previous concluding recommendations. However the Committee regrets that the scope of the definition of discrimination against women and equality of women and men, as applied by the Court, remains unchanged and that the “... Constitution does not confer any right to establish equality “in fact” (de facto)”. It is further concerned that although Article 8 of the new Constitution provides for a broad definition of the principle of equality, it is inadequately applied (para 14).
In accordance with the State party’s obligations under the Convention and in line with Sustainable Development Goal 5, target 5.1 to end all forms of discrimination against all women and girls everywhere, the Committee reiterates its previous recommendation (see CEDAW/C/CHE/CO/3, para. 18) that the State party take steps to ensure that the principles of equality of women and men and non-discrimination against women are applied in accordance with article 1 of the Convention. (para 15).
Women, peace and security: The Committee welcomes the State party’s third National Action Plan on Women Peace and Security (2013-2016) in line with UN Security Council resolution 1325 (2000) which has been developed with the involvement of civil society actors and commends the State Party for its important role in humanitarian and development operations. However the Committee is concerned about insufficient efforts to include a gender perspective in strategies to prevent violent extremism and counter terrorism; The Committee recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to include a gender perspective in strategies to prevent violent extremism and build the capacity of women and girls, including women civil society groups, to engage in efforts to counter terrorism (paras 16, 17).
National machinery for the advancement of women and gender mainstreaming: The Committee
is concerned about the lack of an overall integrated strategy for gender mainstreaming and the Federal Council’s decision not to implement gender budgeting. The Committee recommends that the State party develop a comprehensive national gender strategy, policy and action plan that addresses the structural factors causing persistent inequalities, including intersecting forms of discrimination against women and girls (paras 18, 19).
Harmful practices: The Committee welcomes the adoption of legislative and other measures to combat harmful practices, including female genital mutilation (FGM), intersex mutilation (IGM), child marriage and forced marriage. However, the Committee is concerned about girls living in the State party, often from migrant families, who have undergone or are at risk of being subjected to female genital mutilation and other harmful practices; Insufficient support for intersex persons, who have undergone involuntary and medically unnecessary disfiguring surgical procedures when they were babies and children, often with irreversible consequences, resulting in significant physical and psychological suffering; The pressure placed on parents of intersex children by medical professionals, the media and society at large, often forces them to give their consent for so called “medical procedures” justified by psychosocial indications; intersex children and adults are often unaware of the procedures they have been subjected to while access to legal remedies for intersex persons affected by unnecessary medical procedures is extremely limited with the statute of limitations often expiring by the time intersex children reach adulthood (para 24).
In light of the joint recommendation/general comment No. 31 of the Committee and No. 18 of the Committee of the Rights of the Child on harmful practices (2014), the Committee recommends that the State party systematically collect disaggregated data on harmful practices in the State party and continue to strengthen preventive and protection measures to eliminate female genital mutilation, child marriage and forced marriage; Ensure that, in line with recommendations from the Swiss Ethics Commission, that no child is subjected to unnecessary medical or surgical treatment during infancy or childhood; adopt legislation to protect the bodily integrity, autonomy and self-determination of intersex persons and provide families with intersex children with adequate counselling and support; Educate and train medical professionals on the harmful impact of unnecessary surgical or other medical interventions for intersex children, and ensure that the views of intersex persons are fully considered by the interdisciplinary working groups established to review these procedures (para 25).
Gender-based violence against women: The Committee commends the efforts being made by the State party to address gender based violence however it remains concerned about the insufficient number of shelters available to provide specific support services for victims and the limited time frame during which victims can avail of these services. The disparities between cantons in terms of funding and regulating shelters, and lack of support to non-governmental organizations providing assistance to victims; as well as the lack of support available when women leave the shelters in terms of covering daily living expenses, and childcare etc (para 26).
The Committee reiterates its previous recommendations that the State party develop an independent study by scientific experts, as well as representatives from women NGOs, to analyse the link between uncontrolled possession of arms by men in the State party and the impact on gender based violence against women and girls (para 27).
Trafficking and exploitation of prostitution: The Committee is concerned about the low rates of prosecution and conviction in cases of trafficking in women and girls and the lack of available disaggregated data on victims of trafficking. The Committee recommends that the State party develop awareness raising programmes for police authorities and social workers at the cantonal level and investigate, prosecute and adequately punish all cases of trafficking in persons, especially women and girls, and improve access to data on victims of trafficking, disaggregated by sex, age and nationality; Strengthen measures to identify and provide support to women at risk of trafficking, in particular migrant women and unaccompanied girls, ensure adequate access to health care and counselling services, strengthen human, technical and financial resources to NGOs who offer specialised victim protection services, and develop targeted training for social workers dealing with victims of trafficking; Regularly review the situation of foreign women who are engaged in prostitution, or who are affected by the State party’s decision to abolish the status of ‘cabaret dancer’, in order to protect them and strengthen assistance provided to women and girls who wish to leave prostitution, including by providing exit programmes and alternative income-generating opportunities (paras 28, 29).
Education: The Committee remains concerned that gender stereotyped educational materials in both schools and universities have an impact on traditional carer choices made by women and girls. While gender sensitive teaching materials have been developed in a number of cantons, this practice has not been uniformly applied throughout the State party; Women continue to be under-represented in decision-making and senior management positions at all levels of the education system. Similarly the under representation of professors and rectors at the senior level leaves young girls without role models in this area (para 34).
The Committee recommends that the State party encourage further diversification of the educational choices of girls and boys and take steps to revise educational materials at the cantonal level and ensure that gender sensitive teaching materials are available across all cantons and communities and include a module on gender stereotypes in education within national teacher training programmes; Strengthen strategies to address discriminatory stereotypes and structural barriers that may deter girls from progressing beyond secondary education and enrolling in traditionally male-dominated fields of study, such as mathematics, information technology and science; and,Monitor the career development of women in the education system to ensure equal access and prevent hidden or indirect discrimination faced by women, and develop mentoring programmes for female professors and rectors to act as role models for young girls (para 35).
Employment: The Committee with concern the persistence of horizontal and vertical occupational segregation, the concentration of women in the lower-paid service sectors and in temporary and part-time work due to their traditional role as caregivers for children, and women’s under-representation in managerial positions in companies. The lack of part time opportunities in high level positions; and the significant discrimination of part time employees in relation to invalidity insurance; The continued lack of affordable childcare facilities, and lack of family friendly working models and paternity leave. The Committee recommends that the State party create more opportunities for women to gain access to full-time employment, including by adopting a rights-based national childcare framework in order to provide sufficient and adequate childcare facilities, and establish a legal framework to ensure that paid paternity leave is available without impacting on the rights of mothers to take maternity leave (para 36, 37).
Health: The Committee remains concerned about disparities in the teaching of age-appropriate sexual education across cantons and the resulting risk of teenage pregnancies. In line with its general recommendation No. 24 (1999) on women and health, the Committee recommends that the State party ensure that medical professionals are aware of the cultural and linguistic barriers migrant women face when accessing health care, and ensure the availability of female medical staff if requested; take steps to introduce awareness raising campaigns, in relevant languages, among migrant communities on how to access health care services, including sexual and reproductive health services; Take steps to collect data on cases of HIV/AIDs and sexually transmitted diseases and ensure that age-appropriate sexual and reproductive health services and treatment, including confidential services, are accessible to all women and girls living with HIV/AIDS (paras 38, 39).
Poverty and social welfare: The Committee is concerned that maintenance payments vary significantly between cantons, when a parent neglects his or her obligations to provide child maintenance and in some cases the parent beneficiary may later be requested to pay them back; The Federal Council rejected the introduction of minimum maintenance payments for children after the divorce of their parents. The Committee recommends that the State party: Adopt the recommendations made by the Swiss Conference of Cantonal Ministers of Social Affairs in 2013 on how to design a system of child maintenance and eliminate the obligation placed on the parent beneficiary to pay back maintenance payments and implement the recommendations in all cantons; Introduce means tested child allowance as proposed by the Federal Council as a matter of priority; and introduce minimum maintenance payments for children after their parents separate or divorce (paras 42, 43).
Marriage and family relations: The Committee is concerned that its previous recommendations to better redress gender disparities and economic disparities ("shortfalls") upon divorce were not followed, and that the amended Child Maintenance Act had not introduced a federal scheme of deficit sharing and a minimal contribution to child maintenance, as a result, child maintenance is determined only to the extent that the person duty bound to pay such maintenance is financially able to pay. It is further concerned that the default rule of joint parental authority and preference of shared custody may lead to a reduction of child maintenance orders with no mechanism to ensure that shared custody is indeed practiced, and reflects the reality of time and cost allocation between parents. The Committee is further concerned at the lack of information on the impact of the current pension system on divorced low income couples, particularly in relation to the potential risk they face of falling into poverty in old age (para 48).
The Committee recommends that the State party amend the Child Maintenance Act to introduce a federal scheme of income deficit and ensure that the shortfall in income be equally distributed between parents and ensure that a minimal contribution to child maintenance is applied; Establish a monitoring mechanism to ensure that shared custody is practiced and that child maintenance orders reflect the reality in relation to the time and cost allocation between parents (para 49).
Last reported: 27 July 2009
Concluding Observations issued: 7 August 2009
Stereotypes: The Committee regrets that many of the concerns it expressed and the recommendations it made (see A/58/38, part I, paras. 97-141) after its consideration of the State party’s combined initial and second periodic report (CEDAW/C/CHE/1-2 and Add.1) in 2003 have been insufficiently addressed. These include, for instance, concerns and recommendations relating to the legal status of the Convention, the national machinery for equality, the persistence of entrenched traditional stereotypes regarding the role and responsibilities of women and men in the family and in society at large, the prevalence of violence against women, the situation of migrant women, the prevalence of trafficking in women and girls and the exploitation of prostitution, the underrepresentation of women in elected and appointed positions in public life and gender inequality in the field of education and in the labour market. (Paragraph 13).
The Committee urges the State party to make every effort to address the previous recommendations that have not yet been fully implemented, as well as the concerns contained in the present concluding observations.
Trafficking: The Committee welcomes the State party’s stated intention to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. It also acknowledges other measures taken by the State party to combat trafficking in women and children. Specific reference is made to the adoption of new article 182 of the Penal Code, which criminalizes trafficking for the purposes of sexual or labour exploitation or for organ harvesting, the revision of the Victim Assistance Act, which imposes a requirement on cantons to take into account the specific needs of different categories of victims, in particular victims of human trafficking, as well as the adoption of the new Foreign National Act, which contains provisions allowing victims of trafficking and witnesses to remain in the State party for a period of reflection and for legal proceedings. The Committee, however, is concerned by the continuing prevalence of trafficking in women and girls and by the lack of comprehensive data and research on all aspects of this phenomenon. The Committee is also concerned that specialized counselling and support services for victims of trafficking, as well as cooperation mechanisms, have only been established in a number of cantons with limited or no funding from the Federal Government. Further, the Committee is concerned that legislation granting protection and temporary residency permits to victims is not uniformly or consistently applied by the cantons, and that the granting of such residency permits is normally based on cooperation with the authorities in legal proceedings. (Paragraph 29).
The Committee encourages the State party to ensure the quick ratification of the Council of Europe Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. It urges the State party to strengthen its measures to combat all forms of trafficking in women and children, including through increased international, regional and bilateral cooperation with countries of origin and transit, in line with article 6 of the Convention. In this respect, the Committee urges the State party not only to ensure the prosecution and punishment of trafficking, but also the protection and recovery of victims of trafficking, including through the allocation of adequate resources to existing specialized services and the establishment of additional services in all cantons. The Committee also urges the State party to consider the extension of temporary residency permits and other measures to be in compliance with the Recommended Principles and Guidelines on Human Rights and Human Trafficking developed by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights in 2002. The Committee calls upon the State party to collect and analyse data on all aspects of trafficking, disaggregated by age and country of origin, in order to identify trends and root causes, as well as priority areas for action, and to formulate relevant policies. It requests that such information, as well as information on the impact of the measures taken to combat trafficking, be included in the State party’s next periodic report.
Education: Despite the measures taken by the State party, the Committee notes the persistence of segregation in the field of education, particularly in vocational training and higher education, as well as stereotyped educational choices, with men and boys still predominant in the fields of technology and science. The Committee also notes the low representation of women in decision-making and senior management positions. (Paragraph 35).
The Committee encourages the State party to develop measures aimed at the diversification of women’s academic and professional choices, including through awareness-raising, training and counselling programmes. The Committee also encourages the State party to monitor the career development of women in the education system to ensure equal access and prevent hidden or indirect discrimination faced by women.
Reported but Concluding Observations not available.
No visits undertaken
Not yet signed or ratified.
Not yet signed or ratified.
Signed in 2011, but not yet ratified.