Where can I find information on combating discrimination against LGBTI people?

Several federal agencies in Switzerland share the task of combating discrimination against LGBTI people, i.e. people who are discriminated against because of their sexual orientation or gender identity. However, there is no one agency tasked with defending the overall interests of LGBTI people.

Not only are LGBTI-related issues and needs complex and varied, many of them lie within the competence of the cantons and communes and must therefore be addressed in collaboration with the competent bodies at this level.

Competent authorities at the federal level

At the federal level, competence in this area is generally assigned as follows, depending on the axis of discrimination:

Legal issues in relation to constitutional protection against discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, inequality and barriers to applying the Same-Sex Partnership Act (SSPA) or changes of sex or name under civil law are handled by the Federal Office of Justice.

The Federal Office for Gender Equality is responsible for dealing with problems related to the Gender Equality Act.

Questions regarding medical aspects of gender reassignment fall within the remit of the Federal Office of Public Health; however, questions regarding the cost coverage of certain services by the federal invalidity insurance are dealt with by the Federal Social Insurance Office. The Service for Combating Racism can provide financial support for projects (in DE/FR/IT) that address the issue of multiple discrimination (i.e. racial discrimination combined with discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity).

Further information

  • The Service for Combating Racism has put together an overview (PDF, 19 kB, 18.04.2017) (in DE (PDF, 19 kB, 18.04.2017)/FR/IT) of the competent federal authorities.
  • The Federal Council published its report (PDF, 322 kB, 20.03.2017 (in DE (PDF, 322 kB, 20.03.2017)/FR (PDF, 318 kB, 20.03.2017)/IT (PDF, 318 kB, 20.03.2017)) on the right to protection against discrimination on 25 May 2016, in response to the postulate by Martin Naef (12.3543). It states its position on the results of the study on LGBTI discrimination conducted by the Swiss Centre of Expertise in Human Rights (SCHR) – on which the report is based – and the recommendations made therein.
  • SCHR study (in French/German): Zugang zur Justiz in Diskriminierungsfällen vom Juli 2015
  • SCHR sub-study 3 (in German): LGBTI – Juristische Analyse vom Juli 2015