Report by Switzerland on the implementation of the UN Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination
Bern, 30.11.2012 - In its meeting of 30 November 2012, the Federal Council approved the combined 7th to 9th follow-up reports by Switzerland on the implementation of the 1965 UN Convention on the elimination of all forms of racial discrimination. The report describes the measures Switzerland has taken to combat all forms of racial discrimination. The report will now be submitted to the body that monitors the implementation of the Convention.
The international convention of 1965 on the Elimination of all forms of racial discrimination enshrines the principle of the prohibition of racial discrimination. It also requires states to combat racial discrimination and to take action to prevent it. Switzerland adhered to this convention on 29 November 1994 after making an amendment to its legal system enabling the criminal prosecution of racist acts (Articles 261to StGB/Swiss Crimina Code). On November 1 2012, 175 states were contracting parties to this convention.
As a contracting party to the convention, Switzerland is obliged to regularly provide state reports on the implementation of the Convention to the UN body responsible for monitoring compliance, which is the Committee on the Elimination of all forms of racial discrimination.
Switzerland's first report was approved by the Federal Council in December 1996 and was reviewed by the Committee in March 1998.The 7th to 9th report that has now been published contains information about legal and political developments since the presentation of the last report in August 2008.
Switzerland attaches great importance to the implementation of the Convention and has implemented major recommendations of the Committee since the presentation of the last report. Measures for dealing with the offence of racial discrimination have been tightened up and at the state level numerous measures have been introduced to prohibit all forms of discrimination on the grounds of race, skin colour, origin and national or ethnic background. These measures include the consistent implementation of protection against discrimination as part of integration measures at the national, cantonal and local levels. The increased level of counselling for discrimination victims and the prevention of structural discrimination are notable developments in this area. Numerous awareness-raising courses for administrative bodies have been held. The authorities at all levels work together closely with civil society organisations.
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