Taking a stand against rights violations

Violence against women has also financial consequences - it costs at least CHF160 million every year Keystone

Several hundred protesters have urged parliament to increase efforts to fight abuse of women and children.

This content was published on November 23, 2013 - 18:22 and agencies

The protesters want Switzerland to speed up implementation of a 2011 European treaty, known as the Istanbul Convention, aimed at combating domestic violence. They also called for a nationwide prevention campaign and more shelters.

The demonstration in parliament square in Bern on Saturday came at the beginning of the annual 16-day awareness campaign by women’s groups.

Earlier this week about 180 experts took part in a conference to discuss measures to prevent gender-specific forms of violence, including genital mutilation, forced marriage and human trafficking.

Interior Minister Alain Berset told the meeting that women’s rights were a priority of Switzerland’s humanitarian policy.

A recent study published by a government-advisory commission found that more than 20 people die as a result of domestic violence in Switzerland every year.

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