Zurich provides children with a voice

A man reading a book with two children

Zurich provides children with a voice

In Switzerland, the Federal Council has been charged by parliament with setting up an independent ombudsman for children's rights. Zurich's commitment is helping to ensure that there is a temporary solution for those seeking help.

The KESB (Swiss authorities responsible for protecting children and adults), legal advisers, courts and the police are there to help children, to provide them with support and to ensure their rights. However, time and again things fail to work as they should. This is where the Swiss Ombudsman for Children's Rights comes in. Its specialists look at the situation with the children and consider what support the child needs. At the Swiss Ombudsman for Children's Rights, children receive answers to their questions or are shown where they can get these answers. The specialists try to act as intermediaries between the child and professionals. Children are prepared for conversations and have their rights explained to them. Consultations are free and confidential.  

This offer is possible not least thanks to the commitment and funding from Zurich Switzerland and the Z Zurich Foundation, a corporate foundation established by members of Zurich Insurance Group. Funding also comes from proceeds from voluntary assignments by Zurich employees. In addition, the private ombudsman is financed through voluntary contributions from the Confederation and cantons.    

This is a temporary solution. In a few years, the Confederation will assume responsibility for the ombudsman. A motion to this effect was approved by Swiss councilors. Now it is down to the Federal Council to create a draft bill.  

Involving the children's ombudsman at an early stage can significantly reduce the suffering of the children concerned.Thanks to Zurich's commitment, this is possible even before the Confederation's solution has been developed.