Swiss Federal Council Recommends Rejection of People's Initiative on Physical Freedom and Integrity

On June 9, 2024, Swiss voters will vote on the popular initiative "For Freedom and Physical Integrity," which calls for state intervention in a person's physical and mental integrity to take place only with his or her consent. The Federal Council and Parliament recommend rejecting the initiative because they believe that the right to freedom and physical integrity is already guaranteed by the Constitution. They also raise concerns about the consequences that accepting the initiative could have, especially with regard to police work.

The initiative was launched in the fall of 2020 in a context marked by the coronavirus pandemic. The text does not specifically refer to vaccinations, but to interventions on physical and mental integrity in general, including activities such as police work and execution of sentences.

The initiative committee argues that the freedom to make decisions about one's body is fundamental, and that no one should be subjected to interventions without their consent. However, the Federal Council and Parliament reject the initiative, stating that the right to bodily integrity is already guaranteed by the Constitution, and that in exceptional situations, restrictions for unvaccinated people may be necessary to protect the health care system and the public.

In addition, the institutions criticize the general wording of the initiative, which could have unclear and potentially intrusive consequences on government activities such as police work.