Practice Relating to Rule 131. Treatment of Displaced Persons
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides that the parties “shall ensure that proper accommodation is provided to receive the transferred persons and that displacements are effected in satisfactory conditions of hygiene, health … and nutrition”.
In 2013, in a statement before the UN Human Rights Council during an interactive dialogue with the UN Special Rapporteur on the human rights of internally displaced persons, the representative of Switzerland stated:
During the preparation of the report, more than 4.25 million people have been internally displaced in Syria as a result of the hostilities, and their number has even more increased since then, following the intensification of the violence.
This makes access to victims of the war, including internally displaced persons, more and more difficult and the humanitarian actors present face great risks. … In view of the grave circumstances, Switzerland calls on all parties to the conflict to respect the principles of international humanitarian law and to facilitate thus access to vulnerable persons. It invites, in particular, the Syrian Government, in the framework of its primordial obligation to protect displaced persons and to respond to their needs, to facilitate humanitarian aid intended for all vulnerable persons, without discrimination and in line with international humanitarian law as well as the Guiding Principles on Internal Displacement.
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides: “Displacements are effected in satisfactory conditions of … safety.”
Switzerland’s Basic Military Manual (1987) provides: “Displacements are effected in satisfactory conditions … and the members of the same family are not separated”.
In 2013, Switzerland’s Federal Department of Foreign Affairs issued the document “Women, Peace and Security: National Action Plan to implement UN Security Council Resolution 1325 (2000)”, which stated:
Greater inclusion of a gender perspective during and after violent conflicts in emergency aid, reconstruction and in dealing with the past
SUBORDINATED GOAL 3
Switzerland implements UNSCR [UN Security Council resolution] 1325 during and after violent conflicts, as well as in fragile contexts through its bilateral measures for emergency aid, reconstruction and dealing with the past.
1 Emergency aid and reconstruction measures in conflict and post-conflict situations are gender-sensitive and take account of the specific security and basic needs of women and girls in the following areas:
- Gender-specific security needs of refugees and internally displaced persons (e.g. in the management of refugee camps and camps for the displaced, and other forms of refugee assistance)
5 Activities undertaken to protect and guarantee the rights of internally displaced persons and refugees, and the search for durable solutions are gender-sensitive.
[footnotes in original omitted]
In 2009, in response to a motion before the Council of States by the Commission on Foreign Policy, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
The humanitarian situation in Sri Lanka is of the highest concern to the Federal Council. …
The Federal Council considers that what is most urgent is to ensure respect for international humanitarian law by all parties to the conflict, the protection of the civilian population and the rapid access of humanitarian organizations, without restriction. For this reason, Switzerland is actively engaged on the ground in delivering essential goods to displaced persons in Vanni, in ensuring their security and in promoting the access, without restriction, of international aid organizations.
The humanitarian assistance provided by Switzerland to Sri Lanka reached 5.1 million Swiss francs in 2008. For the year 2009, a budget of 4.8 million Swiss francs is foreseen and additional resources were made available to finance the delivery of medicine as well as assistance to internally displaced persons that have already been evacuated.
In 2009, in response to a question by a member of the National Council, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
… The Federal Council expressly deplores that this decades-old conflict has … deprived tens of thousands of internally displaced [persons] of their means of subsistence.
The Federal Council considers that what is most urgent is to ensure the protection of the civilian population, in particular of evacuated victims of war and internally displaced [persons]. This is why Switzerland is actively engaged on the ground in ensuring that international aid organizations have access, without restriction, to these persons, that these persons have adequate support through the supply of food, medication and emergency shelter, and that they can return as quickly as possible to their region of origin, in safety and dignity.
In 2009, in its Report on Foreign Policy, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
Due to its long presence in the region, Switzerland was able to react promptly and in an adapted manner to the armed conflict between Russia and Georgia concerning South Ossetia; it adjusted and intensified certain aspects of its engagement in the region ( … programmes to assist persons displaced by the conflict …). …
… In Colombia, the humanitarian assistance of the [Swiss] Confederation is for victims of violations of human rights linked to the long internal conflict and to persons displaced within the country.
Persons displaced because of armed conflicts … will continue to be the object of Switzerland’s specific attention whether on the legal, political or operational level. This consists of, through a constant exchange with and with the support of our main partners, promoting respect for the law and seeking durable solutions for the millions of persons forced into displacement.
In 2010, in its Report on Foreign Policy, Switzerland’s Federal Council stated:
Despite the efforts of the international community, the number of persons having to leave their countries due to war, violence or natural catastrophes is increasing. …
Far from their homes, these persons more than ever need protection that many States are not able to ensure. One of the main missions of the international community consists of assisting these States to protect the groups of vulnerable persons, in conformity with their international commitments. This consists of, in particular, … providing the necessary assistance to victims, first of all among them to women and children.