Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Switzerland 2016 - Compulsory Social Measures and Forced Fostering

ISSUE DATE: 1 September 2016
STAMP SIZE: 40 x 43.5 mm
 STAMP DESIGN: Beat Kehrli

A dark chapter in Swiss history.
We cannot undo what has been done, but we can learn and draw lessons from it.


Compulsory social measures and forced fostering prior to 1981 are a dark chapter in Swiss social history. Many children and adolescents suffered and were unjustly treated during this time; their physical, psychological and sexual integrity and their mental development were, in part, severely impaired, and many of them still suffer from the consequences of their experiences. 

The story of these victims is now being addressed and examined politically and academically, and the public is becoming aware of the injustice done to many of the institutionalized, fostered, or indentured children. A decisive contribution is being made by a variety of commemorative and other events, exhibitions, films, and reports from victims as well as by a public initiative and a roundtable initiated by Swiss Federal Councillor Simonetta Sommaruga. 

The Swiss Parliament is presently examining draft legislation with a counterproposal to the reparations initiative. In the process, the aim is not to undo what has been done, but to express solidarity with the victims and learn lessons from the past. 

Author: Luzius MaderFederal Office of Justice


Stamp images and description thanks to Swiss Post