Press releases, 03.06.2021

Switzerland is firmly committed to the universal protection of human rights. The Foreign Policy Strategy 2020–23 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 networked, 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. The Human Rights Guidelines 2021–24 replace the FDFA's strategy for 2016–19 and are part of a cascade of key foreign policy documents. This implies no change in the importance accorded to the issue of human rights.

To maximise its impact, Switzerland has a wide range of instruments at its disposal which it can use in a flexible manner at bilateral and multilateral levels. These include activities undertaken by Swiss representations abroad, human rights dialogues and initiatives under the UN umbrella. The guidelines also provide for a wider focus on new initiatives and innovative partnerships with other states, international organisations, the private sector, the scientific community and NGOs.

Further information:

Swiss foreign policy: strategies and key aspects
Human Rights Diplomacy

Guidelines on Human Rights 2021-24 (PDF)(pdf, 2156kb)

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
Twitter: @SwissMFA


Federal Department of Foreign Affairs

Last update 19.07.2023

  • FDFA Communication answers media queries Mondays to Fridays during office hours and operates a weekend emergency on-call service.


FDFA Communication

Federal Palace West
3003 Bern

Phone (for journalists only):
+41 58 460 55 55

Phone (for all other requests):
+41 58 462 31 53

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