|SC||Variations of sex characteristics|
|GR1||Legal gender recognition without self-determination|
|GR2||Legal gender recognition with self-determination (over 16)|
|GR3||Legal gender recognition with self-determination (under 16)|
|FPN||LGBTI focal points network|
|CA||Ministerial call to action|
Several articles of the Federal Constitution of the Swiss Confederation refer to the area of education and, although sexual orientation, gender identity and expression, and variations of sex characteristics are not explicitly mentioned as possible grounds of discrimination, article 8 guarantees equal treatment before the law, specifying “way of life” as one of the criteria protected against discrimination.There is currently a parliamentarian initiative pending to adoptnew regulations against discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity.
Furthermore, the Cantonal Act on Public Education (a regional law from Geneva) states that all schools should have their own protocols to address discrimination, but it does not specifically mention homophobia, biphobia, transphobia, or interphobia. Despite this, some schools have already developed specific measures to tackle such discrimination.
The Fight Against Bullying Action Planapplies to schools in the state of Geneva. However, civil society organisations report that this plan does not specifically protect any grounds of discrimination and, although the plan provides guidance on how to identify situations of bullying, it does not provide guidance on how to address them. There are, however, several information circulars from the Department of Education, addressing the topic of homophobic and transphobic bullying, which call on schools to set up specific projects.
The Plan d’Etudes Romand is a curriculum but it is on the Romandie level (French-speaking states). It does not address LGBTQI issues specifically, therefore, is dependent on individual schools or teachers as to whether such content is included. Civil society organisations have worked with a number of schools in Geneva to develop lessons on LGBTQI issues in different subject matters (French, history, philosophy, citizenship, etc.) but it is not yet systematically addressed due to the lack of governmental guidelines.
On a more local level, the Service Santé de l’Enfance et de la Jeunesse is responsible for sex education in schools in Geneva. They include LGBTQI issues in the curriculum. Sex education differs from state to state, so, does not depend on the Plan d’Etudes Romand.
There is currently no mandatory teacher training on LGBTQI awareness. The basic training (formation initiale) of teachers in Geneva has no obligatory courses, but there is a voluntary 90-minute seminar about gender equality and LGBT issues. Civil society organisations are working on including these issues on an obligatory basis and on setting a proper training. Furthermore, the continuing education program for teachers in Geneva includes a training about LGBT issues that they can take on a voluntary basis.
People can change their gender marker, but the requirements are unclear and there is no specific information about age limit. Legal gender recognition is based on the Swiss Civil Code, Art. 1 and 42. Although it does not make specific mention of gender recognition, and only contains general rules rather than transgender specific ones, provides for the modification by a court of disputed information relating to civil status in civil registries. The Swiss courts affirmed the right to judicial change of civil status for transgender persons in Federal High Court decision: BGE 119 II 264, which judgment required “irreversible sex change” but did not specify any further requirements. However, other courts in Zurich and the Bern Jura-Seeland Regional Court have not required surgical interventions before granting gender recognition. In 2012, the Office Fédéral d’État Civil stated that it does not require sterilisation as a condition for gender change and declared that dissolution of marriage should not be a condition for gender change. Applications for a change in gender marker must be filed with the Court of First Instance in the appropriate area. There is no age limit, according to ILGA’s report Trans Legal Mapping Report: Recognition before the law. A medical report and gender-normative expression are often expected by the Court. During 2016, however, several non-binary people were granted a name change by their canton’s administration, after explicitly stating that they have a non-binary gender identity.
There is an educational inspectorate in the Department of Education, “Chargée d’égalité et d’homophobie” in charge of supervising gender-equality and LGBT equality programs in schools. They work in close collaboration with the coordinator of the program in schools.
Civil society organisations provide support to students throughout their programmes.
The government provides information to school staff in order to tackle homophobic and transphobic bullying. Civil society organisations are currently working on developing guides for LGBTQI learners but this information is currently not available.
The Department of Education of Geneva provides support to civil society organisations and partnership agreements to set-up specific programmes to prevent homophobia and transphobia in schools in Geneva.
– Switzerland has signed the Call for Action by Ministers – Inclusive and equitable education for all learners in an environment free from discrimination and violence.
– Switzerland is a member of the European Governmental LGBTI Focal Points Network.
Programme d’actions de formation et de sensibilisation contre l’homophobie et la transphobie en milieu scolaire
Setting up of actions against homophobia and transphobia in schools
Covers: SO and GIE