Protecting human rights and freedoms

Through its international cooperation Switzerland actively works to ensure respect for, as well as to protect, promote and dynamically develop human rights. It conducts political dialogue in several partner countries and is active within various multilateral institutions.

Human rights are universal fundamental rights that are indispensable for ensuring the dignity, survival and development of each individual. They are inalienable and indivisible.

In particular, Switzerland’s international cooperation gives priority to the rights of the most vulnerable individuals as part of its overall aim to promote and ensure respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms for all. It is actively involved in efforts to fight impunity and discrimination and to ensure respect for the rights of minorities.

Switzerland promotes framework conditions in its partner countries that foster respect for human rights and enable each individual to exercise their rights, especially in fragile contexts.

It helps strengthen the key role of non-state actors in the political arena. Civil society, which includes human rights defenders, and businesses represent two key actors in the promotion of human rights.

Strengthening and developing the international framework

At the global level, Switzerland helps to strengthen the international human rights framework and its implementation. It promotes the universal ratification of existing human rights conventions and, through the proposals it makes and its participation in negotiating resolutions, is active in ensuring that the normative framework is commensurate with current and future requirements. Switzerland advocates for strong human rights institutions at the global, regional and national levels.