Human rights are an important pillar of the international system, which is based on universally recognised rules. As a globally networked, independent country, Switzerland also benefits from this system. Human rights are therefore consistently taken into account in the formulation and implementation of Switzerland's foreign policy.
Based on the objectives of the Foreign Policy Strategy 2020–23, Switzerland attaches particular importance to the freedom of expression, abolishing the death penalty, preventing torture, and minority rights. The Human Rights Guidelines 2021–24 also lay out Switzerland's efforts to promote human rights in the fields of peace and security, the economy, and sustainability. In addition, the FDFA Strategy on Gender Equality and Women's Rights sets out the framework for Switzerland's targeted action in this area.
Switzerland has access to a wide range of instruments for implementing its human rights policy and deploys these in a varied and flexible manner at the bilateral and multilateral levels. Switzerland also actively promotes its priorities in numerous regional and international organisations and multilateral forums.