The delegations of experts will participate in meetings with representatives of the federal government, the cantons and the communes. They will also meet with the associations that represent the interests of the recognised national and language minorities as well as with non-governmental organisations.
Their trip's itinerary includes talks in Chur with umbrella organisations promoting the Romansh and Italian languages and cultures and with the authorities of the cantons of Graubünden and Ticino. The experts will also meet with the authorities of the bilingual cantons of Bern, Fribourg and Valais. Together with the foundation Future for Swiss Travellers, the experts will visit two stopping places used by Yenish, Sinti and Roma communities.
Following their visit, the independent experts will submit reports with recommendations for Switzerland that will have been approved by the Committee of Ministers of the Council of Europe. The Swiss authorities will be given the opportunity to comment on them in advance.
Visits to review the implementation of the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities and the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages take place regularly. Switzerland ratified the Framework Convention for the Protection of National Minorities in October 1998. The Framework Convention entered into force in February 1999. The European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages was ratified in 1997 and entered into force in Switzerland in 1998. On 1 October 2021, the Federal Council adopted Switzerland's combined report on the implementation of these two related Council of Europe conventions, and this week's visit is based on the combined report.
Switzerland, whose identity is based on pluralism and the coexistence of different linguistic and cultural communities, is committed to protecting and promoting minority languages and minorities. It is also taking action at international level, as this issue is a priority of the Human Rights Guidelines 2021–24 of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA). In addition, President of the Swiss Confederation Ignazio Cassis has set the diversity of languages, cultures and opinions in Switzerland as a priority for his presidential year.
FDFA / DIL:
Sophie Heegaard, international human rights Section, tel. 058 462 01 16, firstname.lastname@example.org
Federal Office of Culture:
Fiona Häusler, Head of Languages and Society Service, Culture and Society Section, tel. 058 462 92 98, email@example.com
FDFA website (Directorate of International Law (DIL)), on this topic
Federal Office of Culture (FOC) website on this topic (available in German, French, Italian, Romansh)
Uffizi federal da cutura: Charta europeica da las linguas regiunalas u minoritaras
Address for enquiries:
Federal Palace West Wing
CH-3003 Bern, Switzerland
Tel. Communication service: +41 58 462 31 53
Tel. Press service: +41 58 460 55 55