Reappraisal continues at federal, cantonal and city level

The Federal Office of Justice is running a programme to promote the dissemination and use of the findings from the academic inquiry. The Canton of Thurgau and the City of Zurich have approved measures to redress the injustice.

The Federal Office of Justice had – and continues to have – an important role to play in the reappraisal of the compulsory social measures and placements that took place prior to 1981. According to its legal mandate, it must ensure that the results of the academic inquiry are published and used. The aim is to help ensure that this dark chapter in Swiss social history is not forgotten. The results of the inquiry are to be made accessible to the interested public, and especially to younger generations, in a suitable form.

To this end, the Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) is conducting various information, communication and awareness-raising measures from 2023 to 2028. These include a web platform that will contain all the important information on the topic, a touring exhibition that will visit selected cities around the country and teaching materials that can be used in schools or continuing education and training courses. The FOJ’s ‘valorisation’ measures are intended to complement the existing communication activities. In particular, they are coordinated with NRP 76. From 2024 to 2028, third-party projects that aim to communicate the topic may also receive financial support.

Canton of Thurgau and City of Zurich actively approach victims

In April 2023, the Cantonal Parliament of Thurgau resolved that victims of drug trials at the Münsterlingen psychiatric clinic should receive compensation of CHF 25,000. It is estimated that around 500 people unwittingly or unwillingly took part in these tests. The necessary legal basis for the payments is now being established. The first payments can be expected at the beginning of 2025.

The City of Zurich is also taking action. It intends to pay a solidarity contribution of CHF 25,000 per person to those who suffered injustice at the hands of the city's social authorities. The parliament of the City of Zurich unanimously approved this proposal by the City Council on 5 April 2023. As things stand today, the City of Zurich expects to receive an estimated 320 requests. In addition to paying this solidarity contribution, the role played by the City of Zurich welfare authorities in relation to compulsory social measures and placements up to 1981 is to be reappraised historically. A corresponding study is being planned.