Attacks against members of sexual minority groups in Switzerland increased dramatically last year, LGBTI communities say.
The number of reported incidents, including physical assaults, rose to 66 from 42 in the previous year according to a statement by Pink Cross, the Lesbian Organisation and the Transgender Network Switzerland.
Many victims hesitated to report attacks to police or they are not aware of existing offers for help, says Roman Heggli, Pink Cross director is quoted by the SonntagsBlick newspaper.
“There is a high number of unrecorded cases,” he said.
He called on politicians to launch a nationwide awareness campaign and a national reporting office on hate crimes.
Heggli says one in three attacks occurs in the public space particularly during the summer months.
To mark the international day against homophobia on Sunday, the Swiss justice ministry said discrimination based on sexual orientation was a criminal offence.
Earlier this year, Swiss voters endorsed a law aimed at increasing protection of LGBTI community in a nationwide ballot.
A recent Europe-wide survey on gay rights shows Switzerland ranking only mid-table.