Our work for children in Switzerland

We campaign for children’s rights to be fully implemented in Switzerland so that all children are protected against violence and are nurtured in a child-appropriate way.

In our projects, we give children and teenagers a voice and share our extensive expertise with other organisations, authorities and private individuals. Together, we can do a lot to protect and help children in Switzerland flourish.

Our work with refugee children is one of our programme’s main focuses in Switzerland because refugee children are particularly vulnerable. In collaboration with our partners in the asylum sector, we create safe and child-friendly places within asylum centres where refugee children can be children again.

Protecting and supporting refugee children

Refugee children and teenagers are among the most disadvantaged population groups in Switzerland. It is one of our most important commitments in Switzerland to protect and support them.

Many children and parents have witnessed terrible atrocities in their country of origin or while fleeing, or they have become victims of violence themselves. So that they may overcome their experiences and develop healthily, refugee children in Switzerland need child-appropriate care, safe accommodation and programmes to strengthen parental competencies.

However, asylum centres often lack the financial or human resources to create stimulating environments for children’s development.

Our programmes support asylum centres in providing children and teenagers with spaces where they are protected, where they can play and where they are nurtured as children should be. We guide and advise asylum centres throughout Switzerland in offering child-friendly activities on a regular basis, implementing child-protection measures and strengthening parents in their role as educators.

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45% of all new asylum applications in Switzerland were submitted by minors in 2020.

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93% of children and teenagers who fled to Switzerland were accompanied by family members.

Since 2019, child-friendly spaces and regular activities have been obligatory in all federal asylum centres, not least because of our pilot projects — we are very happy about this important achievement!

Nina Hössli Head National Programmes Save the Children Switzerland


Strengthening children’s rights and child protection in Switzerland

Eglantyne Jebb, the founder of Save the Children, also pioneered today’s UN Convention on the Rights of the Child. As early as 1922, she wrote the first recognised “Declaration on the Rights of the Child” in Geneva. We continue to reflect her vision of a child-appropriate world in our projects.

Many children and adults still do not know enough about children’s needs and rights. We inform the population in Switzerland about children’s rights with the help of course materials for teachers as well as events and campaigns. Together with other organisations, we give children and teenagers a voice also on a political level. With our activities, we campaign for children’s rights and for a childhood without violence.

This also includes supporting other organisations in protecting children and teenagers from any form of violence during their activities. We offer consultation and expertise in developing clear guidelines and effective, sustainable measures for the protection of children (institutional child protection).  In doing so, we help to strengthen child protection in organisations in Switzerland.

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In 1997 Switzerland ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

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In 2020 Switzerland will have to report to the UN Committee on the Rights of the Child regarding its implementation of children’s rights.

The adults should know the rights and respect them.

Scholar at the scavenger hunt marking the 30-year anniversary of children’s rights