Switzerland rejects all recommendations regarding sexual orientation and gender identity
Press Release (14 March 2013)
Switzerland rejects all recommendations regarding sexual orientation and gender identity made by the United Nations Human Rights Council within the framework of its Universal Periodic Review
The Swiss Confederation today presented Switzerland’s answer to the recommendations on human rights issues made by the Member States of the UN Human Rights Council on 29 October 2012. Switzerland rejected all three recommendations regarding discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity. In response, the Swiss LGBT organisations addressed the Swiss authorities with the following declaration to draw their attention to the current lack of legal protection for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) individuals in Switzerland.
The video of the declaration can be accessed at the following adress (17chapter - 42min15):
Sandrine CINA, firstname.lastname@example.org, 079 454 28 67 (French)
Maria VON KÄNEL, email@example.com, 079 611 06 71 (German)
Martin DELLA VALLE, firstname.lastname@example.org (English)
Information on the Universal Periodic Review for Switzerland:
Text of the declaration
- presented by Sandrine Cina, LGBT-Youth Switzerland
Thank you, Ms. Vice-President.
This declaration is made on behalf of the five Switzerland-wide LGBT organisations Pink Cross, LOS, Rainbow Families, Transgender Network Switzerland and LGBT Youth Switzerland.
We regret Switzerland’s wholesale rejection of all recommendations regarding sexual orientation and gender identity. With its sectoral approach, Switzerland does not provide comprehensive protection for its LGBT citizens.
LGBT persons in Switzerland are exposed to multiple forms of discrimination. They are targeted for physical and verbal violence three times as often as heterosexual persons. Hate speech against the LGBT community in the public sphere is not indictable. This climate of violence creates significant stress, which can lead to depression or suicide; as a matter of fact, LGBT persons are five times as likely to attempt suicide as the rest of the population.
The Registered Partnership Law discriminates against same-sex couples in the areas of facilitated naturalisation, adoption and access to medically assisted reproduction. Additionally, the children of registered partners are disadvantaged in matters of custody and visitation rights, alimony, inheritance rights and orphan benefits.
Employment law, on the other hand, doesn’t mention discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity at all, even though those situations are common. Transgender individuals in particular have to contend with rejection and dismissal for reasons directly linked to their identity.
This lack of legal protection is directly linked with how young LGBT persons view their future.
The Swiss LGBT organisations call on the Confederation to provide comprehensive protection for its LGBT citizens and to adopt a general law against discrimination that explicitly includes sexual orientation and gender identity. The Swiss authorities need to demonstrate their willingness to combat any and all forms of discrimination – this is an indispensable condition for societal cohesion in Switzerland and the well-being of every citizen.