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Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
ViolenceThe Committee recommends to evaluate the work of existing structures to address violence against children and pay particular attention to and address the gender dimension of violence against children.
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is not considered physical violence and is not explicitly prohibited. Prohibition is still to be achieved at home, alternative care settings, day care, schools and penal institutions.
Overview of the child rights situation

Switzerland is one of the richest countries and therefore invests a lot in child-related projects. However, not all children benefit equally, but money is rather put in projects for Swiss children without special needs. While a free school system and low costs for health services support Swiss children, for children with disabilities, and refugee or sans-papiers children, there is a lot that could be fixed with more money going into the tackling of the problems, for example better early childhood education for children with disabilities or better accommodation for asylum-seeking children.

Situation of intersexual and transsexual childrenThe 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. The Committee urges to prohibit medically unnecessary surgeries and other procedures on intersex children before they are able to provide their informed consent.
Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

About 22.000 girls are living in the State party who are affected or threatened by genital mutilation. Therefore, the Committee recommends to continue and strengthen preventive and protective measures to address female genital mutilation, including training of relevant professionals, awareness-raising programmes and the prosecution of perpetrators of these acts.

Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee is concerned about the inadequate inclusion of those children in mainstream education in all cantons, and the insufficient human and financial resources allocated to ensure the adequate functioning of the system of inclusive education in practice. They recommend to strengthen the efforts to ensure State-wide inclusive education without discrimination. They further recommend to ensure that children with disabilities have access to early childhood education and care, early development programmes and inclusive vocational training opportunities in all cantons, and also address the specific needs of children with autism spectrum disorders in all cantons, and in particular ensure that they are fully integrated into all areas of social life.

Situation of asylum-seeking, refugee and migrant childrenThe Committee remains concerned that the asylum procedure for unaccompanied children is not always guided by their best interests. To improve the situation, the Committee recommends to ensure that the asylum procedure fully respects the special needs and requirements of children and is always guided by their best interests. It also recommends to ensure that asylum-seeking children have effective and non-discriminatory access to education and vocational training, that unaccompanied asylum-seeking children are exempted from the accelerated asylum procedure and to establish safeguards to ensure that the right of the child to have his or her best interests taken as a primary consideration is always respected.Another point is the recommendation to develop policies and programmes to prevent the social exclusion of and discrimination against sans-papiers children and allow these children to fully enjoy their rights, including by ensuring access to education, health care and welfare services in practice.
Free kindergartenYes
Free primary and secondary schoolYes
Digital possibilitiesThe Committee notes the efforts of the State party to address the risks posed by digital media and information and communication technology (ICT) to the safety of children and recommends to work further on ICT and to strengthen awareness-raising programmes. To improve the situation, the Committee recommends that the State party expedite the adoption of the national action plan on the prevention of suicide, which should take into account the specific needs of children and adolescents, and ensure its effective implementation.
physical health

While welcoming the reduced health insurance premiums for children by at least 50 per cent for families with low or medium incomes, the Committee is concerned that problems of overweight children and obesity among children are increasing, and advertising of food high in fat, sugar and salt on children’s television programmes is excessive.

To prevent suicides, the Committee recommends that the State party expedite the adoption of the national action plan on the prevention of suicide, which should take into account the specific needs of children and adolescents, and ensure its effective implementation.

Relation to other countries
mental health

The Committee is concerned about the excessive diagnosis of ADHD and other behavioural specificities, and recommends to carry out research on non-drug approaches.

Business sector

The Committee is concerned that the State party solely relies on voluntary self-regulation of businesses and does not provide a regulatory framework. To improve the situation, the Committee recommends to establish a clear regulatory framework for industries operating in the State party, to ensure that their activities do not negatively affect human rights or endanger environmental, labour and other standards, especially those relating to children’s rights. They should also be legally accountable for violations of children’s rights and human rights.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee recommends to strengthen its efforts to ensure that the right of the child to be heard applies to all judicial and administrative proceedings affecting children and that due weight is given to their views.

The Committee recommends that the State party collect data and undertake a study on the situation of children with a parent in prison in the State party, with a view to ensuring personal relations between children and the parent.

To achieve juvenile justice, the Committee recommends to ensure that children have access to free legal or other appropriate assistance and expedite the process of establishing adequate detention facilities in order to ensure that children are not detained with adults.

Specific observations

Switzerland is one of the wealthiest economies in the world and invests sizeable amounts of resources in child-related programmes. Unfortunately, the Convention is not very well known among children, parents and the public at large.

The Committee is concerned that children born in the State party, who would otherwise be stateless, are not guaranteed the right to acquire Swiss nationality.

Additional BackgroundConcluding observations on the second to fourth periodic reports released on 26 February 2015. Differences between cantons show up at different points of the concluding observations. First, discrimination and segregation of children with autism spectrum disorders occurs especially in the canton of Geneva. Considerable cantonal disparities also exist in relation to reception conditions, integration support and welfare for asylum-seeking and refugee children. Information about female genital mutilation in Switzerland.
Last Updated (date)16th of February, 2022