Advocacy in Switzerland

Children’s rights are not always respected in Switzerland. Terre des hommes fights for the implementation and the respect of these rights by means of advocacy work with federal and cantonal authorities as well as with professionals and field experts.

Our advocacy projects

Advocating a better implementation of the Convention on the Rights of the Child

Switzerland ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child on 24th February 1997. This Convention reaffirms that all children have specific rights such as the right to be listened to, to participate, to receive protection from any form of violence and discrimination, to good health care or to have their best interests taken into consideration. By playing an active role in the Swiss Network for children’s rights, we are fully committed to this crucial convention so that the rights of children in Switzerland can be adhered to on a daily basis.

Advocacy for an adequate protection for migrant children

Terre des hommes is specifically committed to protecting the rights of migrant children in Switzerland. These children often undertake a very difficult journey either on the migratory route or in their country of origin and are living in extremely vulnerable conditions. They very much need proper care and support to ensure that they are protected and that their rights are respected. We identify the key problems, act accordingly within our networks and raise awareness among the general public about the inadequacies in the care and support afforded to these young migrants. It is vitally important that these children are considered first and foremost as children and to recognise that migration makes it even more likely that their rights may be violated.

Effective networking

Alliance for the Rights of Child Migrants (ADEM) brings together non-governmental organisations who are committed to observing and promoting the rights of child migrants in Switzerland. Terre des hommes is one of the founding members along with the International Social Service (SSI), the International Institute for the Rights of the Child (IDE) and the Swiss Organisation for Aid to Refugees (OSAR). Working together we promote networking and the sharing of good practices, whilst reporting information and carrying out constructive advocacy work in collaboration with the relevant authorities in order to provide respectful care for child migrants and unaccompanied minors.

«Children in the context of migration, whether accompanied, separated or unaccompanied should never be remanded in custody.»

Dr h.c Jean Zermatten, former chairperson of the United Nations Committee on the Rights of a Child

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Related publications:

Making an Impact for Children: Annual Report 2018
Illegal detention of migrant children in Switzerland: a status report.

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