Also in Switzerland, children’s rights are based on the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. However, ratification is not enough for these rights to be guaranteed. To ensure that the justice system always treats children in a child-friendly manner, the Council of Europe has adopted specific guidelines for child-friendly justice.
It has been almost two years since reports from the intensive performance centre of the Swiss Gymnastics Association in Magglingen served as a wake-up call for the Swiss public. Under-age female athletes recounted stories of unsustainable training methods and psychological violence.
Almost two years have gone by since Parliament approved the bill to create an ombuds office for children’s rights. It is now time for the federal administration to act. By passing this legislation, Parliament acknowledged the void that was accurately described in the bill: despite the existence of at least 58 children’s rights organisations including seven cantonal ombuds offices as well as other such facilities at the local level, there remains a need for yet another ombuds office for children’s rights. How is this possible?
Media coverage of the war in Ukraine is everywhere. It includes the stories, destinies and traumas of its refugees, many of whom seek shelter with us here in Switzerland. Uprooted from their social and cultural structures and deprived of their livelihoods, refugees arrive in their host countries in a state of acute dependency. As a result, the risk of discrimination or even the criminal exploitation of these victims is indeed tremendous.