Report on Human Rights Practices Country of Switzerland

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  1. Scope of the Challenge
  2. CUL - Main Content
  3. Human rights in Switzerland
  4. Reports | Human Rights Watch
  5. CUL - Banner

Scope of the Challenge

While we aim to maintain information that is as current as possible, we realize that situations can rapidly change. If you are aware of any additional information or inaccuracies on this page, please keep us informed; write to ICNL at ngomonitor icnl. Resolution of 4 October on the deterioration of media freedom in Belarus October On 4 October, the European Parliament said in a resolution that the situation of media freedom continued to deteriorate in Belarus. It mentioned the searches that occurred in August in the offices of tut.

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The resolution affirms that the participation of civil society is a critical contribution to democratic societies and to prevention of violence, insecurity, and conflict; and urges Member States to develop and share good practices on enabling environment for civil society. Peaceful Protest Resolution: same rights that people have offline must also be protected online July Besides reaffirming the principles in relation to the peaceful protests, the resolution notes that human rights, including freedom of peaceful assembly, of expression and of association, apply in the online sphere as well; and requests the UN High Commissioner to prepare a thematic report on new technologies and their impact on the promotion and protection of human rights in the context of assemblies.

The resolution further encourages the States to compile practical recommendations based on best practices which could serve as a useful tool for proper management of assemblies. Voule introduces his aims and priorities, discusses cooperation with civil society, and highlights the importance of the rights to assembly and association.

Human rights in Switzerland

UN OHCHR report on civic space in multilateral institutions May The report analyses procedures and practices in respect of civil society involvement with regional and international organizations, including United Nations. The report emphasizes that civil society engagement is key for meaningful international discussions, for decisions to be informed by what is happening on the ground, and for a full range of perspectives and experiences needed to be heard. Since its creation in September , the mandate of the UN Special Rapporteur has been critical in providing practical guidance to States on how they should implement their human rights obligations as they relate to association and assembly, and has consistently stood up for those whose rights were violated.

Global Human Rights Update: standing up for human rights in the 70th year of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights March The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, Zeid Ra'ad Al Hussein warns of widespread actions to undermine civil society, public participation and human rights defenders, but also notes some encouraging developments including citizens and movements pushing back to defend civic space.

On the human rights challenge of states of emergency in the context of countering terrorism February The Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism finds that counter terrorism laws and practices constitute and enable de facto and permanent states of emergency, and as such, they are an under-supervised source of human rights violations globally. For example in Turkey, by the end of 22 emergency decrees were promulgated with many regulating matters unrelated to state of emergency and used to limit various legitimate activities of civil society actors.

High Commissioner for Human Rights. The report found 29 countries where cases - ranging from travel bans and asset-freezing to detention and torture - have been documented which is the highest number since the annual reports were instituted in Poland's reforms severely undermine independence of judiciary - UNSR December UNSR on the independence of judges and lawyers warns that the bill on the Supreme Court and the bill on the National Council of the Judiciary that the Polish President signed into law on 20 December places judiciary under the political control of the ruling party.

Strong, legally binding treaty on environmental rights urgently needed in Latin America and Caribbean November 10 UN rights experts are urging governments to achieve a binding law to implement Principle 10 of the Rio Declaration.

The treaty shall promote access to information on the environment, foster participation in decision-making processes affecting it, and provide access to justice in environmental matters. International organizations fail on freedom of information, finds UN Special Rapporteur October International organizations, including the UN, fall far behind governments in creating legal frameworks and processes to promote and enable access to information — finds the Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of the right to freedom of opinion and expression in his statement to the UN General Assembly.

Situation in Catalonia should be resolved through political dialogue October The UN High Commissioner for Human Rights Zeid has called for an independent investigation into all acts of violence during the referendum organized by authorities in the autonomous region of Catalonia. Kenya must lift protest ban and halt attacks on the judiciary and civil society, warn UN experts ahead of presidential election October It is precisely when political tensions are high that governments should do their utmost to let people express their grievances and to protect their rights.

The experts also called for prompt investigation into all allegations of police brutality and highlighted the importance of preserving independence of the judiciary and civil society. Human Rights Council concludes clustered interactive dialogue on freedom of peaceful assembly and association, and on education June The Human Rights Council in its midday meeting concluded its clustered interactive dialogue with Professor Annalisa Ciampi, Special Rapporteur on the rights to freedom of peaceful assembly and of association, and with Koumbou Boly Barry, Special Rapporteur on the right to education.

Human Rights Council. She said the Council needs to make reforms. If that happens, she said, the U. Report May The Belarus government has returned to a policy of large-scale repression, causing a dramatic deterioration in human rights, according to a report published on Monday for submission to next month's session of the U. The Council adopted a final report comprising recommendations submitted by 95 states and told the Philippines to report back "with a clear position" on the recommendations at its September session.

On 17 March HRC Member States, Observer States, and civil society organisations CSOs , discussed several issues regarding the UPR mechanism, including: general outcomes of the seond cycle, follow-up and reporting under Item 6, as well as the expectations for the third cycle. Read the Guide here. These adoptions, which took place on 16 — 17 March , formally closed the second cycle of the UPR. Divided into thematic clusters, the participants began to develop a CSO suggested implementation matrix outlining their expectations on the Government during the implementation process.

In the matrix, CSOs proposes goals to be achieved by implementing each of the 2nd cycle UPR recommendations made to Uganda and pair them with proposed Government implementation actions. Moreover, the matrix provides indicators to track implementation progress and suggests which ministries and state institutions are responsible for what recommendations. The Philippines also took the opportunity to reiterate its commitment to human rights and fundamental freedoms.

Approximately 20 Permanent Missions and 80 people attended the event. Research demonstrates that privately sponsored refugees tend to have relatively early, positive integration and settlement outcomes, thanks in part to the social support provided by sponsors. Among the outstanding requests are from the special rapporteurs on torture, freedom of opinion and expression, and peaceful assembly.

UN review of Hungary shows country 'treats human rights as a public enemy' May UN experts provide a roadmap to avoid human rights violations during protests March Zeid urges Yemen to reverse decision to expel top UN human rights official January UN Human Rights Council Calls Special Session on Burundi December Cutting aid to support refugees will allow extremism to thrive, Kiai writes in Guardian November Criticism is no threat to sovereignty September Study on best practices, experiences and challenges and ways to overcome them with regard to the promotion, protection and implementation of the right to participate in public affairs July Survey on Good Practices in the Protection of Human Rights Defenders October June Europe must uphold values of human rights, democracy, UN chief says in Strasbourg visit June Human Rights Council holds interactive dialogue on extreme poverty and on counter-terrorism June Research Center.

It urges states to: Ensure that civil society actors can seek, secure and use resources. Maintain accessible domestic procedures for the establishment or registration of organizations. The Government did not provide prisoners with adequate food or medical care. Cells at Monrovia Central Prison occasionally were overcrowded with prisoners awaiting trial. President Taylor visited Monrovia's Central Prison in December and subsequently ordered the release of some prisoners being held without charge.

Women, who constituted about 5 percent of the prison population, were held in separate cells. A jailer raped a female inmate in August in Saniquellie, Nimba County. A local magistrate ordered the severe flogging of the jailer. There were no separate facilities for juvenile offenders. Human rights groups were granted frequent access to prisoners in Monrovia, and these groups often obtained needed medical treatment for prisoners. In a number of cases, human rights groups and interested individuals achieved the release of prisoners. The Constitution prohibits arbitrary arrest and detention; however, security forces continued at times to arrest and detain persons arbitrarily.

The Constitution provides for the rights of the accused, including warrants for arrests, and the right of detainees either to be charged or released within 48 hours.

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Although the Government generally adheres to these standards, warrants were not always based on sufficient evidence, and detainees, especially those without the means to hire a lawyer, often were held for more than 48 hours without charge. Lengthy pretrial detention is also a serious problem. Two armed robbery suspects from Rivercess were detained for over 2 months before they were charged. Eighteen persons arrested in Vai Town in October and charged with a single murder remained in pretrial detention for over a year.

The police have only limited logistics and forensic capabilities, and cannot adequately investigate many crimes, including murder cases. When the courts release known criminals for lack of evidence, police officers often rearrest them on specious charges. In September, following Operation Camp Johnson Road, the Government arrested some members of the armed forces and 19 civilians, including some senior Krahn leaders, on charges that included treason and sedition in some cases. The Government dropped charges against 5 of the civilian suspects in return for their testimony as state witnesses; the trial of the remaining 14 civilian detainees was just beginning at year's end.

The military personnel arrested at the same time remained in detention, uncharged, at year's end. The Government did not use forced exile, but the security forces frequently harassed and threatened opposition figures to the point that a number of them departed the country due to fear for their personal safety or that of their families. Several times during the year, President Taylor publicly alleged that some of these opposition figures had gone abroad to conspire in the overthrow of his Government. The effect of such statements was to keep numerous prominent opposition figures and former warlords out of the country indefinitely.

Although the Constitution provides for an independent judiciary, judges always have been subject to political, social, familial, and financial pressures. Corruption and lack of professionalism remained a recurrent problem.

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The judiciary is divided into four levels, with the Supreme Court at the apex. All levels of the court system in Monrovia, including the Supreme Court, functioned, though erratically. A new juvenile court, the first in the country's history, was established in , but it tried no cases during the year. A criminal court established late in specifically to handle armed robbery cases heard only one case during Outside Monrovia the judiciary did not function in most areas due to an acute lack of trained personnel, infrastructure, and resources.

In some parts of the country, refugees returning from abroad found squatters occupying their houses, but had no legal recourse to evict them.

Several localities reverted to traditional forms of justice administered by clan chieftains see Section 1. Under the Constitution, defendants have due process rights that conform to internationally accepted standards. However, in practice these rights are not always observed. Courts regularly received kickbacks on damages awarded in civil cases.

Defense attorneys often suggested that their clients pay a gratuity to appease judges, prosecutors, and police officers, and ensure a favorable ruling. In August the Chief Justice of the Supreme Court summarily sentenced a Deputy Minister of Information to 5 days in the central prison for criminal contempt after he said in a radio interview that he felt that the judiciary was "rotten. The Constitution provides for the right of privacy and the sanctity of the home; however, authorities regularly infringed on these rights.

The Constitution provides that police must obtain a warrant, or have a reasonable belief that a crime is in progress, or is about to be committed, before entering a private dwelling. In practice, police and SSS officers frequently entered private homes and churches without a warrant to carry out arrests and investigations. For example, in April armed SSS officers entered the home of a former minister of commerce with the stated purpose of killing him. The former minister was not at home, but the SSS officers nonetheless manhandled his female friend.

Police searched scores of homes without warrants following Operation Camp Johnson Road, in several cases triggering gun battles with the Krahn inhabitants. The security forces regularly harassed and threatened opposition figures and their families by surveilling, and in some cases, entering their homes, usually at night. Several journalists and human rights activists slept in the homes of friends or relatives for months at a time due to fear that the security forces might follow through with their threats.

These incidents of harassment increased significantly in the immediate aftermath of Operation Camp Johnson Road.

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In rural areas, armed security forces illegally entered homes, most often to steal food, money, or other valuables see Section 1. This problem was especially prevalent in remote parts of Lofa County during the first half of the year. The Constitution provides for freedom of speech and of the press; however, the Government restricted this right in practice.

The Government temporarily closed newspapers and radio stations, and harassed and threatened journalists, many of whom practiced self-censorship. The Government took several steps in the beginning of the year that appeared to be part of a concerted effort to limit freedom of the press. However, in each case the Government subsequently reversed course. For example, on March 20, the Ministry of Information announced new media guidelines that, if enforced, would have driven most private newspapers and radio stations out of business.

The guidelines established liquidity requirements, minimum education and experience standards for editors, and a minimum daily circulation level that would have forced cash-strapped newspapers to double their output.

Release of the 2017 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

The Press Union of Liberia challenged the guidelines as unconstitutional, because they restricted freedom of expression. After discussing the issue with the press union, the Ministry agreed to revise the guidelines to the satisfaction of the private media.

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