On a political, social and economic level, we shape a differentiated discourse on minorities and indigenous peoples, and advocate the observance of collective and individual human rights, as defined in international conventions.
What we do
- We document human rights violations.
- We inform the public and raise their awareness of human rights issues.
- We draw attention to the violation of collective and individual human rights, and call for clarification, punishment and compensation in this regard.
- We support local efforts to strengthen the human rights of minorities and indigenous peoples.
- We protect the interests of those affected in dealings with the authorities and decision-makers, in cases where they cannot do so alone.
How we work
- The concerns of those affected by human rights violations are central to our work. We work together with these people as partners.
- We work nationally and internationally with organizations and people who share our values.
- Our staff identify with the values and goals of our organization.
- We use our resources carefully, purposefully and efficiently.
- Our work is funded by our members.
The Society for Threatened Peoples Switzerland is committed, efficient and goal-oriented. Here are some examples of our successes. See the individual campaigns for more information.
- November 2018: The Data Protection and Public Relations Officer calls on the Federal Customs Administration to comply with the STP’s demand and provide detailed insight into gold transactions. Transparency would be an important step towards finally obtaining more clarity about the origin and mining conditions of gold processed in Switzerland. The recommendation is a small sensation. The refineries are incorrigible: They announced an appeal against it.
- September 2018: Together with Tibet organisations, the STP presents the Federal Council with a petition for the rights of Tibetans in Switzerland. More than 11,000 people signed the petition and call on the Federal Council and parliament to do more to promote human rights in Tibet.
- June-August 2018: In the summer of 2018, over 1500 caravans of travelling Roma were on the road in Switzerland. Thanks to the project initiated by the STP and the Sinti and Roma Switzerland Association to mediate between travelling Roma, landowners and authorities, conflicts could be avoided and a positive summer balance drawn.
- July, 2018: Following the publication of a STP report on dubious gold from the United Arab Emirates, exports to Switzerland fell sharply. While the Emirates were still Switzerland’s largest gold supplier in January 2018 with over 21 tonnes of gold, six months later not a single gram was imported from this country.
- May 2018: For years, the Sri Lankan Navy occupied the small island of Iranaitivu as a military base. The population tirelessly protested for a return to their beloved island, supported by the STP. With success: In the middle of May the people finally got the right to return to the island. As a result, the people can fish again, collect seafood and thus have access to a secure source of income.
- March 2018: In its gold report, the STP criticized the trade relations between Metalor and the Peruvian supplier Minerales del Sur. Not only the STP, but also the Peruvian government wants to put an end to money laundering and illegal gold production. In March the Peruvian customs authorities confiscated 91.42 kg of gold from the controversial supplier Minerales del Sur, which was destined for the Swiss refinery Metalor, and stopped the exports of this company. Meanwhile, Metalor has banned the most controversial gold suppliers in Peru as customers – hopefully forever.
- October 2017: the National Contact Point (NCP) of the OECD processed the appeal against Credit Suisse, filed by the STP in April. The Swiss bank had participated significantly in financing the construction firms of the controversial North Dakota Access Pipeline, which passes through the indigenous reserve of Standing Rock and thereby creates huge risks of water pollution for the local Sioux.
- May 2017: after a long-running dispute over her land rights, the indigenous smallholder Máxima Acuña de Chaupe was acquitted. The biggest mining company of Peru, Yanacocha S.R.L., had accused her of land grabbing and had used violence against Máxima. The STP supported the activist in her combat against the gold giant.
- April 2017: in Sri Lanka, the STP informed people affected by land grabbing about their rights. Approximately 50 participants from different regions and ethnic groups adopted their common demands directed towards the government in the “Nallur Declaration”.
- End of 2016: a first draft of the “Action Plan Yenish, Sinti und Roma” is available. The STP had asked the Confederation to improve the situation of these three minorities in Switzerland with targeted measures.
- Autumn 2016: the STP drew attention to the fact that the two Swiss banks UBS and Credit Suisse are playing a major role in funding the construction of the controversial North Dakota Access Pipeline in the US. This triggered numerous protest campaigns and further research by Greenpeace in Switzerland.
- May 2016: the Chechen Archive went online thanks to the cooperation of the STP, PeaceWomen Across the Globe and Reporters Without Borders. It is the most important video archive of the two wars in Chechnya and serves the legal processing of the war crimes.
- In late 2013, the Swiss gold refinery Metalor stopped the purchase of gold from two producers who purchased gold from the highly problematic Madre de Dios region. And in spring 2016, Yanacocha, the largest goldmine in South America, withdrew from the planned Conga project, against which the local population fiercely resisted. In several reports, the STP drew attention to the human rights violations committed by this company and supported the indigenous movement.
- Autumn 2013: the STP revealed in a report that several Tamils who had been forced back to Sri Lanka had been arrested and tortured upon their arrival. For almost a year, no more people were forced back under compulsion, and even today the practice is strict.