Right to a non-violent upbringing is enshrined in law in Switzerland.

Yesterday, the Council of States followed the recommendation of its Legal Affairs Committee and clearly adopted motion 19.4632 (“Enshrine the right to a non-violent upbringing in the Civil Code”) by 27 votes to 8. The Federal Council now has an obligation to draw up corresponding civil law provisions on the right to a non-violent upbringing.


After the National Council approved the motion in 2021, the Council of States also reached agreement yesterday on an amendment to the Civil Code regarding non-violent upbringing. Both the National Council and the Council of States see the added value of clearly enshrining the right to non-violent education in law and define it as a key basis for child protection.

Switzerland ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1997, thereby committing itself to taking all necessary measures to protect children from all forms of violence and abuse. The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child has repeatedly urged the Swiss government to enshrine the right to a non-violent upbringing in law. The situation in Switzerland is worrying, with almost half of all Swiss children experiencing physical or psychological violence during their upbringing. These results were also confirmed by the study “Children’s Rights from the Perspective of Children and Young People” published by UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein in 2021. By enshrining the issue in civil law, Switzerland is following the majority of European countries that have already implemented a legal ban on violence in child-rearing.

Sybille Gloor Erwachsen

“We are delighted that Switzerland is complying with the key demand of the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child and finally enshrining the right to a non-violent upbringing in civil law.” 

Sybille Gloor, Child Rights Advocacy, UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein

UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein published its position in 2020 and appealed to the Swiss parliament to enshrine the right to a non-violent upbringing in law as a matter of urgency. In collaboration with numerous other civil society organizations, UNICEF sent two open letters to the Council of States to lobby for the adoption of the Bulliard motion 19.4632.

UNICEF Switzerland and Liechtenstein will closely monitor and support the drafting and implementation of the legislative amendment, and will continue to work to ensure that children and young people are protected from all forms of violence.