Switzerland presents report on implementation of UN Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance

Press release, 15.04.2021

From 13 to 15 April 2021, Switzerland presented its report on its implementation of the International Convention to the UN Committee. The report underlines Switzerland's commitment to worldwide efforts fighting the crime of enforced disappearance.

The presentation of the report to the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances (CED) took place in virtual format. Switzerland's delegation was led by Ambassador Corinne Cicéron Bühler, who heads the Directorate of International Law of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA), and comprised representatives of several offices of the FDFA and the Federal Department of Justice and Police, the federal law enforcement agencies, as well as a cantonal representative. The Swiss delegation presented Switzerland's measures to implement the Convention and answered questions from the CED. The crime of enforced disappearance has been added to the Swiss Criminal Code, and a network of coordination services (within the federal government and in the cantons) has been set up in order to swiftly establish the whereabouts of the person concerned in the event of a suspected disappearance. The Federal Office of Police (fedpol) has been appointed as the point of contact for relatives in cases of alleged enforced disappearance and works closely with the cantonal coordination services.

The UN Convention of 21 December 2006 aims to address the problem of 'enforced disappearance' worldwide. Enforced disappearance is the deprivation of liberty by a state or with the authorisation, support or acquiescence of the state, usually accompanied by a refusal to acknowledge the deprivation of liberty, and often results in the torture or killing of the disappeared person. Enforced disappearance is a crime that occurs on every continent. The Convention obliges states parties to prohibit enforced disappearances under any circumstances, to take appropriate preventive measures and to bring perpetrators to justice. Switzerland ratified the Convention in December 2016. The Convention entered into force for Switzerland together with the necessary legislative amendments on 1 January 2017. In 2018, Switzerland submitted its initial report on implementation of the Convention to the CED, and in 2019 it responded to a number of supplementary questions.

To date, the Convention has been signed by 98 states and ratified by 63. Switzerland's implementation of the Convention contributes to preventing and fighting enforced disappearances worldwide.

Further information:

Switzerland's report on its implementation of the International Convention for the Protection of All Persons from Enforced Disappearance
Website of the UN Committee on Enforced Disappearances

Address for enquiries:

FDFA Communication
Federal Palace West Wing
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland
Tel. Communication service: +41 58 462 31 53
Tel. Press service: +41 58 460 55 55
E-mail: kommunikation@eda.admin.ch
Twitter: @SwissMFA


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs