Switzerland's human rights diplomacy commitment

Switzerland is firmly committed to the universal protection of human rights. The Foreign Policy Strategy 2020–23 of the Federal Council formulates goals and priorities to help achieve this objective. To this end, the FDFA's Human Rights Guidelines 2021–24 set out clear principles and concrete fields of action to strengthen Switzerland's coherence and effectiveness in promoting human rights abroad.

Peace, prosperity and sustainable development are closely linked with respect for human rights. Human rights are an important pillar of the international system, which is based on universally recognised rules. As a globally connected but independent country, Switzerland also benefits from this system. Human rights are therefore consistently taken into account in the formulation and implementation of Switzerland's foreign policy.

Based on the objectives of the Foreign Policy Strategy 2020–23, Switzerland attaches particular importance to freedom of expression, minorities, and eradicating the death penalty and torture. The Human Rights Guidelines 2021–24 also lay out Switzerland's efforts to promote human rights in the fields of peace and security, the economy, and sustainability.


Switzerland has access to a wide range of instruments for implementing its human rights policy and deploys these in a varied and flexible manner at the bilateral and multilateral levels. At the bilateral level, Switzerland generally discusses human rights issues with all states and at all levels, and conducts human rights dialogues and consultations with selected states. Switzerland's external network plays a key role in analysing the human rights situation in the host country and conducting dialogue on human rights issues with the host state and local society stakeholders. Switzerland also implements specific projects in collaboration with national and international actors to promote human rights abroad. At the multilateral level, Switzerland works to promote the realisation of human rights in the relevant UN bodies, as well as in regional organisations such as the Council of Europe, the OSCE and the International Organisation of La Francophonie.

FDFA Human Rights Strategy 2016-2019

Last update 25.07.2023


Peace and Human Rights Division

Bundesgasse 32
3003 Bern


+41 58 462 30 50

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