Committee on Economic, Social and Cultural Rights

Switzerland (CESCR 18-11-2019)

The Committee considered the fourth periodic report of Switzerland (E/C.12/CHE/4) at its 34th and 35th meetings (see E/C.12/2019/SR.34 and 35), held on 1 and 2 October 2019, and adopted the present concluding observations at its 60th meeting, held on 18 October 2019.

Concluding observations

C. Principal subjects of concern and recommendations


  1. The Committee takes note of the explanations provided by the State party concerning progress made in respect of policies and strategies to combat discrimination. Nevertheless, it regrets that the lack of a general anti-discrimination law continues to make it difficult for victims to access effective remedies and adequate protection against all prohibited grounds for, and multiple forms of, discrimination. The Committee also remains concerned about the discrimination that, in practice, some individuals and groups continue to experience, such as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex persons, persons with disabilities, migrants, and persons living in poverty (art. 2).
  2. The Committee reminds the State party of the recommendations in its previous concluding observations (para. 7) and recommends that it pass a general anti-discrimination law, enforceable uniformly throughout the Confederation, that: (a) covers all prohibited grounds of discrimination, including discrimination based on economic and social status and sexual identity; (b) defines multiple discrimination; (c) prohibits direct and indirect discrimination; and (d) provides judicial or administrative remedies for victims, so that they are able to enjoy effective protection. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the State party continue its efforts to prevent and combat persistent discrimination against certain individuals and groups, including through awareness-raising campaigns, in order to ensure their full enjoyment of the rights recognized under the Covenant. In this connection, the Committee draws the attention of the State party to its general comment No. 20 (2009) on non-discrimination in economic, social and cultural rights.

Mental health

  1. The Committee remains concerned that, despite the measures taken, the suicide rate continues to be high in the State party, in particular among lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex youth (art. 12).
  2. The Committee recommends that the State party implement the recommendations set out in the Swiss Health Observatory report entitled “Mental Health in Switzerland” and take the necessary measures to ensure the availability and accessibility of appropriate mental health services throughout the State party. The Committee further recommends that the State party continue its efforts to prevent suicide, including through the mobilization of the necessary resources.

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