Switzerland – NHRI

2 National Action Plan on Business and Human Rights 2020-23

2.1 Pillar 1: state duty to protect


2.1.5 Policy coherence

Guiding Principle 8

Measure 17: National human rights institution

With the Swiss Competence Centre for Human Rights (SCMR), a successful pilot project for a national human rights institution (NHRI) has been running since 2011. A core topic of the SCMR is human rights and business.

This pilot project will be replaced by a permanent, legally established institution. The Federal Council approved the corresponding bill on 13 December 2019, parliamentary consultation will begin in 2020. The NHRI will strengthen the protection and promotion of human rights in Switzerland. Its independence enables it to cooperate with authorities at all levels of government, but also with non-governmental organisations, the private sector, research and international organisations and to support their human rights activities. Its tasks include information and documentation, research, consultancy, human rights education and awareness-raising, promotion of dialogue and cooperation, and international exchange. In addition to domestic human rights issues, its mandate also includes questions relating to the implementation of international human rights obligations in Switzerland.

Objective Indicator Responsibility
Support the establishment of an NHRI that deals with, among other things, business and human rights. Mandates and activities of the NHRI in the business and human rights field. FDFA [Federal Department of Foreign Affairs]