Children who know their rights are safer

Siblings playing in a field of dandelions

Children who know their rights are safer

In the next three years, Zurich Switzerland will support the Swiss Ombuds Office for Children's Rights with 1.3 million Swiss francs in total. And for good reason.
It's an impressive number: Every year, 100,000 children are directly or indirectly affected by legal or administrative proceedings in Switzerland. The cases often involve child protection law, i.e. psychological or physical violence, sexual abuse, neglect, foster care or divorce law (parental access to children). There are also cases related to school, laws on foreign nationals and criminal law. 
The problem is that while Switzerland does a lot for children and teenagers, there is still no official, easily accessible point of contact which kids can turn to with legal questions. It is all the more pleasing that the Swiss Parliament gave the Federal Council the mandate to establish the legal conditions for such an ombuds office. 

It will however take a number of years until the legislative process has run its course. In the meantime, the privately run Swiss Ombuds Office for Children's Rights was founded in the summer of 2020 to fill the void. This point of contact was created to offer children the information they need about proceedings that affect them, so that children know their rights and exercise them.
The Ombuds Office for Children's Rights was able to start its work this year thanks to the commitment of Zurich Switzerland. 

Zurich wants to raise awareness for the issue

Zurich Switzerland is supporting the project with 1.3 million francs. The money comes from Zurich Switzerland, the Z Zurich Foundation, the Association of Swiss Insurers (Stiftung des Schweizer Versicherers) and the proceeds from social assignments by Zurich employees.

Why have we committed ourselves? As an insurer, we not only have economic interests, but also want to get involved in environmental and social issues. Strengthening and offering the best protection for children and teenagers is one of our key desires. Since legal recourse is normally not open to children themselves, they are dependent on such a service. The Ombuds Office helps all children learn their rights and participate in the legal system.

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