Figures on Racism in Switzerland

The Service for Combating Racism monitors and examines the type and frequency of racial discrimination in Switzerland. Its latest bi-annual update was published in February 2024 on a newly designed website:

Figures on racism in Switzerland are worrying: 1.2 million people between the age of 15 and 88 have experienced racial discrimination in the last five years. A high number of unreported cases can be assumed. People are racially discriminated against on the basis of their (attributed) origin or affiliation especially at work and in the labor market (69%), in public spaces (30%) and in education (30%). According to the “Survey on diversity and coexistence in Switzerland”, a large proportion of those affected already experienced racial discrimination during their compulsory schooling.

“Incidents in schools, education and daycare centers are even ranked in the second place among cases reported to counselling centers. These figures are also on the rise. It is striking that cases of racial discrimination in schools are rarely brought to court. This is often due to the fact that the public visibility required by criminal law is not given. However, affected persons also seem to prefer alternative solutions for other reasons, such as dependency relationships or fear of consequences.” (Service for Combating Racism, 2024, translated and shortened by Gina Buonopane).

Given its position as the third most common domain of racist discrimination, actors in the education sector in particular are called upon to establish a racism-critical school and education culture that guarantees equal access to higher education. To this end, institutional and interpersonal racism must be recognized, named and deconstructed by actors in education and contact points must be created for those affected to share their experiences and access support.