UN eyes the Swiss record on racism.


The United Nations wants the Swiss government to champion the cause of racial harmony.

Switzerland defended its record in race relations before a United Nations committee in Geneva in August, months after Swiss officials fielded questions about a "xenophobic climate" and "incitements to racial hatred by certain political parties" during the UN Human Rights Council's Universal Periodic Review in May.

At the August meeting, Swiss officials admitted that certain foreigners faced a "hostile" environment but they also noted a decline in extreme-right violence and an increase in race-related legal cases.

The UN Committee on the Elimination of Racial Discrimination acknowledged the Swiss were taking the issue seriously. UN specialist Pierre-Richard Prosper said Switzerland "could do better", but had made progress in the field of criminal law and police training. He encouraged the central government to take the lead in fostering acceptance of foreigners.

A coalition of non-governmental...

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