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 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. The new Swiss Health Foreign Policy 2019-2024 also includes references to sexual and reproductive health and rights. The Federal Council adopted this political instrument in May 2019, so that Switzerland can adapt a coordinated approach to, and a coherent position on, global health at the international level. SRHR are also anchored in the dispatch of the Federal Council on Switzerland's International Cooperation 2017-2020. This important document that outlines the Federal Council’s strategic priorities for Switzerland’s international cooperation will be renewed for the new period 2021-2024. The document was open for consultation and will be adopted after the parliamentary elections taking place in October 2019.
Policies & funding
In 2018, Switzerland’s disbursed CHF 21.1 million (almost €19 million) in SRH/FP funding, having kept the same funding levels compared to 2017. SRH/FP related core funding to UNFPA remained stable in 2018 at CHF 16 million (€14 million) despite budget cuts in other areas.
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. This 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.
The new Swiss Health Foreign Policy 2019-2024 includes sexual and reproductive health and rights as part of sustainable healthcare, one of six fields of action. Concretely, Switzerland aims at promoting maternal and child health in partner countries and sexual and reproductive health and related rights as an integrative part of person-centred health care.
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”, which provides a set of SRHR-related recommendations.
- Switzerland’s Country Report 2018 - Switzerland implements the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
- Gender Equality and Women’s Rights Strategy (2017)
- Swiss Health Foreign Policy 2019-2024 (original version only in German). You may find a short version in English here and a long version in French here.
- Dispatch on Switzerland's International Cooperation 2017–2020
- Switzerland's initial steps towards the implementation of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development
- Platform Agenda 2030: “How sustainable is Switzerland? Implementing the 2030 Agenda from a civil society perspective”
Updated January 2020
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