Speaking out over racism in Switzerland

In light of recent ‘Black Lives Matter’ demonstrations across the world after the killing of a black man by police in the United States, Swiss society has been re-examining its treatment of people from ethnic minority backgrounds. How does everyday racism affect people of colour in Switzerland?

This content was published on June 22, 2020 - 16:00

Swiss public Television, SRF, spoke to five young people who had experienced racism or discrimination of some form because of the colour of their skin.

A recent study by the Federal Statistical Office showed how widespread this kind of discrimination is in Switzerland.   The figures were collected in 2018 and show that 28% of Swiss say they have experienced racism.

In the survey, 24%of respondents had experienced discrimination, 11% suffered racially-motivated psychological violence and 3% were victims of racially-motivated physical violence.

The study also revealed where these incidents took place, the majority of them were in a working environment.

The counselling network for victims of racism is made up of 22 cantonal offices and gives help and advice in cases of racial discrimination. The network's experts monitored 352 cases last year and collected data on the motives behind the discrimination. In 145 cases, xenophobia was the motive, in 132, racism against black people and islamophobia was the main factor in 55 incidents.

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