At present, Switzerland does not have a National Human Rights Institution.
In December 2019, the Swiss Federal Council submitted a proposal to Parliament on the establishment of an NHRI. The future institution would replace the current Centre suisse de compétence pour les droits humains (CSDH), which had been created in 2011 as a pilot to assess the need for an NHRI in the country. This pilot was supposed to end in 2020 but it will be extended for 2 years, allowing enough time for the establishment of the NHRI by then.
In January 2021, the Commission for External Affairs of the Council of States (lower chamber) asked the Commission for Political Institutions for a co-report on the compatibility of the proposed Institution with the competences of the cantons and to show how the Institution would interact in the Swiss political system. In March 2021, the Commission for Political Institutions adopted an opinion on the draft bill where it advised against the conferral of monitoring powers, in accordance with a precedent opinion of the Federal Council. According to the Commission, the competence of the new institution should not be excessively extended and the competence of cantons should be preserved. In April 2021, with a vote of 9 to 1 and 2 abstentions, the Commission for External Affairs adopted a text for a draft bill to be discussed at the Council of States. The text is in line with the advice of the Commission for Political Institutions, meaning that it does not foresee monitoring powers for the new institution.
ENNHRI stands ready to further provide information to the Parliament and any other relevant stakeholder on the establishment of an NHRI in Switzerland in compliance with the Paris Principles
- Webpage of the government setting out the current progress on setting up an NHRI: https://www.admin.ch/gov/fr/accueil/documentation/communiques.msg-id-77508.html