Swiss schools violating UN Convention on the Rights of the Child

Schools across Switzerland are letting pupils down by ignoring the fact that children have the right to be heard in all decisions that concern them.

The finding is according to a report published in the NZZ am Sonntag.

Switzerland ratified the Convention in 1997 and is regularly monitored on how it’s implementing the Convention. During a review in 2021, it was acknowledged that the country could be doing more to prevent violence against children and facilitate children’s participation in society.
Irène Inderbitzin, Director of the Office of the Ombudsman for the Rights of the Child, says that decisions concerning children are taken in schools without their being consulted. Since its opening two years ago, the office has supported 700 children, mainly for problems resulting from divorces. The rights of children when it comes to family matters are now entrenched in law.

However, this is not the case when problems arise in the school setting. Education falls under the responsibility of the cantons and there is no federal law on the rights of the child in school, with only half of cantons believed to recognize any right for the pupil to participate in decisions which concern them.


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