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Council of Europe’s Anti-Racism Commission to prepare report on Switzerland

Strasbourg, 05.11.2013 - A delegation of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) visited Switzerland from 21 to 25 October 2013 as the first step in the preparation of a monitoring report. During its visit, ECRIs delegation gathered information on legislation, hate speech, violence, integration policies, LGBT issues and other topics.

The delegation held meetings in Bern and Geneva with representatives of the federal and certain cantonal governments, municipalities, independent bodies, international organisations and NGOs.

Following this visit, ECRI will adopt a report to be published in 2014 in which it will make a fresh set of recommendations on measures to be taken by the authorities to address racism, racial discrimination, xenophobia, antisemitism, homo/transphobia and intolerance in the country. Among these, two will be revisited in two years’ time as part of an interim follow-up procedure.

In its 2009 report, ECRI highlighted the following concerns: lack of a full range of civil and administrative law provisions against discrimination; polarisation in political discourse, specifically in that of the UDC party, which has taken a racist and xenophobic tone; certain Swiss media put across racist and xenophobic stereotypes; travellers and members of the Yenish community with an itinerant lifestyle still encounter difficulties with regard to the number of permanent or transit sites available.

ECRI is a human rights body of the Council of Europe, composed of independent experts, which monitors problems of racism, discrimination on grounds of ethnic origin, citizenship, colour, religion and language (racial discrimination), as well as xenophobia, antisemitism and intolerance, prepares reports and issues recommendations to member States.

For more information on ECRI: www.coe.int/ecri

Link to the 2009 ECRI report on Switzerland

Press contact: Stefano Valenti, Tel: +33 (0)3 90 21 43 28, stefano.valenti@coe.int
Council of Europe Directorate of Communication
Tel: +33 (0)3 88 41 25 60
Fax: +33 (0)3 88 41 39 11