• Switzerland

    Context

    Switzerland contributes to the improvement of sexual and reproductive health and rights (SRHR) through concrete programmes and active collaboration with international organisations. This engagement is based on several strategy and policy documents. The Gender Equality and Women’s Rights Strategy of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) of Switzerland, published in 2017, includes a strategic objective promoting sexual and reproductive health and rights. Also the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) commits ‘to improve maternal, newborn and child health as well as sexual and reproductive health and rights’ as one of three focus areas for better health. Promoting SRHR for young people through an enabling policy environment is furthermore listed as one of the programme components of the Strategic Framework 2015-2019 of the SDC Global Health Programme with the policy goal to ‘ensure access to quality sexual and reproductive health services for young people’. The importance of investment in SRHR from the perspective of gender equality, health and human rights is furthermore mentioned in the dispatch of the Federal Council on Switzerland's International Cooperation 2017-2020, where access to contraception is mentioned among other action points.

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    Policies & funding

    In 2017, Switzerland’s disbursed CHF 21.4 million (€19 million) in SRH/FP funding, a decrease of 12% from 2016. SRH/FP related core funding to UNFPA remained stable in 2017 at CHF 16 million (€14 million).

    The Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) of Switzerland has published in September 2017 its first ‘Gender Equality and Women’s Rights Strategy.’ The strategy is guided by the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals and it is also in line with the ‘Dispatch of the Federal Council on Switzerland’s International Cooperation 2017-2020’. The new FDFA-strategy has six strategic objectives including one on the promotion of sexual and reproductive health and rights.

    Advancing policy dialogue to effectively realise women’s rights is one of the areas of intervention and priority actions up to 2020. The FDFA-Strategy states: “Based on the Programme of Action of the International Conference on Popula­tion and Development (ICPD), Switzerland is firmly committed to promote sexual and reproductive health and rights in multilateral dialogue and negotiations”. Another area of intervention and priority actions to 2020 is improving access to information and quality services. Finally, the FDFA-strategy recommends integrating sexual and reproductive health services into basic healthcare.

    In 2017, the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) supported the promotion of SRHR in relation to the ICPD programme of action with 93,9 Million Swiss Francs, based on the information that the Federal Council presented as an answer to a parliamentary interpellation. In spite of overall budget cuts in 2017, the SDC did not decrease the budget in the area SRHR. This will also be the case for the upcoming years: In August, the Federal Council announced the contributions for UN organisations for the upcoming period 2018-2020. The contributions to UNFPA and UN Women will remain stable while the contributions to UNICEF and UNDP will be cut due to austerity programmes.

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    Internationally vocal

    The Swiss commitment to SRHR in the international context is also prominently mentioned in Switzerland’s Country Report 2018 on the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Swiss government has presented the report at the High Level Political Forum in July 2018. The report was based on an assessment of the implementation status of the Sustainable Development goals. For SDG 3 on health it is stated that the Swiss involvement in multilateral forums and/or projects with partner countries focuses among others on “improving the health of mothers, newborns and children, and strengthening sexual and reproductive health and rights.” The Swiss platform Agenda 2030, a broad coalition of civil society organisations has published the comprehensive alternative report “How sustainable is Switzerland? Implementing the 2030 Agenda from a civil society perspective”.

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