Swiss LGBTI community wants authorities to track hate crimes

Homophobia is a criminal offence in Switzerland. Manuel Lopez

LGBTI communities want official statistics on hate crimes committed against them. Requests for this will be submitted this month in thirteen cantons.

This content was published on May 17, 2019 - 15:43

"It is an appeal that we are making to finally have an overview of the situation in Switzerland,” says Muriel Waeger, head of LOS (Organisation suisse des lesbiennes), in Lausanne.

Members of the homosexual, bisexual, transsexual, transgender or intersex (LGBTI) community are more likely to be the targets of hate crimes related to their sexual orientation, adds Waeger, citing international studies. “If we want to do prevention, we need figures on which to base ourselves.”

In thirteen cantons, including Geneva, Vaud, Bern, Zurich and Ticino, motions will be presented calling on the police to keep accurate statistics on this phenomenon. Police officers should also receive appropriate training so that they can help victims.

According to Waeger, the consequences of these hate crimes can be dramatic. "The suicide rate is two to five times higher among young people in these communities than among the rest of the population,” she said.

At the federal level, Swiss politician Rosmarie Quadranti of the centre-right Conservative Democratic Party submitted a motion in 2017 to request a national census of crimes based on sexual orientation or gender identity.

The Federal Council (executive body) does not support this issue, but the proposal has yet to be examined by parliament.

Switzerland labelled homophobia a criminal offence in December 2018.

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