A delegation of the European Commission against Racism and Intolerance (ECRI) visited Switzerland from 11 to 15 February 2019 as the first step in the preparation of a monitoring report. During the visit, which was one of the first in the framework of ECRI’s new 6th monitoring cycle, ECRI’s delegation gathered information on effective equality and access to rights; hate speech and hate-motivated violence; and integration and inclusion.
The delegation held meetings in Bern, Fribourg and Zurich with representatives of the federal, cantonal and city authorities, independent bodies, international organisations, and civil society.
Following this visit, ECRI will adopt a report to be published in 2020 in which it will make a new set of recommendations on measures to be taken by the authorities to address racism and intolerance in the country. Among these, two priority recommendations will be revisited in two years’ time as part of ECRI’s interim follow-up procedure.
In its 2014 report, ECRI highlighted, among other concerns, that Switzerland still did not have comprehensive and effective anti-discrimination legislation; the Federal Commission against Racism lacked independence as well as powers to provide assistance to victims and hear and consider complaints; and there was no independent authority to promote understanding of LGBT persons and to combat discrimination against them.