Lawmakers in the National Council agreed to expand the definition of rape to comprise sexual acts without explicit consent, as opposed to being limited to cases where the victim has resisted. The vote narrowly passed with 99 votes in favour, 88 against, and three abstentions. The bill will be sent to the upper parliamentary chamber, the Council of States, and from there is likely to be put to a referendum. The Council of Europe had urged Switzerland to update its consent laws in November to bring the law in line with the Istanbul Convention.
A report from the United Nations Working Group of Experts on People of African Descent was delivered to the Human Rights Council with the conclusions of its visit to Switzerland in January 2022. The report finds that racial discrimination is prevalent and misconduct is often committed with impunity, and concludes that a systemic problem exists. The report recognizes recent positive steps, acknowledging the role of civil society and in particular initiatives led by people of African descent, while highlighting persistent structural problems (including in employment, education, health, and housing). It also points out gaps in the legal framework and institutions, including a disconnect between the national and cantonal levels undermining the implementation of international treaty commitments.