Access to remedy

Zugang zur Wiedergutmachung

Access to remedy concerns the responsibility of States and the corporate sector to permit access to effective remedy for those who are affected. This should be achieved by both judicial and non-judicial mechanisms.

The Federal Council acknowledges its duty to grant access to remedy to those affected by human rights abuses committed on Swiss territory and/or under Swiss jurisdiction. It believes the principal means of doing this is via the Swiss judicial system, along with alternative, non-judicial disputeresolution mechanisms.

The Federal Council acknowledges its responsibility to facilitate access to Swiss grievance mechanisms where business enterprises based in Switzerland are involved in human rights abuses abroad, and those affected in the host country have no appropriate access to effective remedy.

State judicial mechanisms

The Federal Council recognizes the importance of effective domestic judicial mechanisms to punish offenders and grant remedy to victims of human rights abuses connected with business enterprises. The extra-territorial dimension of any judicial mechanisms must be examined here. The Federal Council supports efforts to achieve a better understanding of the relevant frameworks in different countries, and encourages international processes.

Under certain circumstances, it is possible under Swiss law for individuals who believe that their rights have been violated by Swiss companies to bring an action or to appeal before Swiss courts. The competence of these courts to hear such cases, as well as the applicable law, must be assessed individually.


State non-judicial grievance mechanisms

State non-judicial grievance mechanisms

State non-judicial grievance frameworks can be an important factor in gaining remedy for human rights abuses. They enable the parties to identify solutions, avoiding lengthy and costly court proceedings.


Non-state grievance mechanisms

Swiss business enterprises, and especially those that are particularly heavily exposed to hu-man rights risks, should provide appropriate grievance mechanisms at the corporate level to allow those affected by abuses to claim remediation. Such mechanisms can also have a pre-ventative effect.

The Federal Council regards support for grievance mechanisms as part of multi-stakeholder initiatives as an important means of guaranteeing access to remedy. They not only facilitate redress for those affected by abuses, but also boost the effectiveness and credibility of the initiatives concerned.