Switzerland (CRC 26-02-2015)
The Committee considered the combined second to fourth periodic reports of Switzerland (CRC/C/CHE/2–4) at its 1959th and 1961st meetings (see CRC/C/SR.1959 and 1961), held on 21 and 22 January 2015, and adopted the following concluding observations, at its 1983rd meeting, held on 30 January 2015.
B. General principles (arts. 2, 3, 6 and 12 of the Convention)
- While welcoming the anti-discrimination measures adopted by the State party, particularly those aimed at promoting the integration of migrants, the Committee remains concerned that discrimination continues to be prevalent against children in marginalized and disadvantaged situations, including migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking children, children with disabilities and sans-papiers children. Moreover, the Committee is concerned about incidents of hate speech against lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons and their impact on children belonging to these groups, as well as the fact that they do not enjoy the protection afforded by article 261 bis of the Criminal Code relating to racial discrimination.
- The Committee recommends that the State party intensify its efforts to eliminate discrimination against children in marginalized and disadvantaged situations, in particular migrant, refugee and asylum-seeking children, children with disabilities and sans-papiers children. The Committee also recommends that the State party strengthen its efforts to foster a culture of tolerance and mutual respect, and that it adopt comprehensive legislation against discrimination on the grounds of sexual orientation and gender identity, and include these grounds in article 261 bis of the Criminal Code.
- While welcoming the adoption of a new provision of criminal law prohibiting genital mutilation, the Committee is deeply concerned at: (a) The significant number of girls living in the State party who are affected or threatened by genital mutilation;
(b) Cases of medically unnecessary surgical and other procedures on intersex children, without their informed consent, which often entail irreversible consequences and can cause severe physical and psychological suffering, and the lack of redress and compensation in such cases.
- The Committee draws the attention of the State party to the joint recommendation/general comment No. 31 of the Committee on the Elimination of Discrimination against Women and No. 18 of the Committee on the Rights of the Child on harmful practices (2014), and urges the State party to:
(a) Continue and strengthen preventive and protection measures to address the issue of female genital mutilation, including training of relevant professionals, awareness-raising programmes and the prosecution of perpetrators of these acts;
(b) In line with the recommendations of the National Advisory Commission on Biomedical Ethics on ethical issues relating to intersexuality, ensure that no one is subjected to unnecessary medical or surgical treatment during infancy or childhood, guarantee bodily integrity, autonomy and self-determination to the children concerned, and provide families with intersex children with adequate counselling and support.