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About Public Eye

Photo: Martin Bichsel

Public Eye provides a critical analysis of the impact that Switzerland, and its companies, has on developing countries. It fights against injustice that is linked to Switzerland and demands the respect of human rights around the world. An independent organisation, Public Eye focuses on global justice.

While underprivileged people in developing countries are forced to accept shameful working conditions, suffer the consequences of environmental damage, live below the poverty threshold, suffer from malnutrition and are victims of human rights violations, Switzerland benefits from huge wealth. It plays a leading role in a number of sensitive financial sectors that act as the executive branch of the world's current brand of extreme globalisation. Due to its economic and financial importance, the influence of its big companies and its consumption habits, in its current state Switzerland plays an active role in maintaining this inequality.

For close to fifty years, Public Eye has offered a critical analysis on the impact that Switzerland, and its companies, has on poorer countries and has demanded the respect of human rights around the world. Public Eye's mission is to shine a light on areas some would prefer to remain obscured in the shadows, to denounce harmful practices and to propose concrete solutions for these issues. Through its research, advocacy and campaigning, it expresses the voice of close to 25,000 members in calling for a responsible Switzerland that shows solidarity with other peoples. We work in Switzerland, but we are also active through international networks in collaboration with other civil society organisations.

Public Eye: focusing on global justice

Our vision for the future:

  • Switzerland has a human rights policy that prevents economic powers in Switzerland from increasing their wealth at the expense of underprivileged people. Companies that have their headquarters in Switzerland take responsibility for their actions and respect human rights throughout the world.
  • Legally binding rules are established, on a national and international level, to ensure fair and sustainable economic relations.
  • The Swiss population is made aware of the impact that Switzerland, and its companies, has on less privileged countries, having the required information to make informed decisions and act in a responsible manner.

Public Eye is essentially financed by membership fees and the support of donors, who allow it to remain completely independent. Bequests also allow us to take on larger projects.

Public Eye, formerly called "The Berne Declaration", was founded in 1968 based on a Berne Declaration manifesto (PDF, 25 KB)that demands more equitable relations between Switzerland and the developing world. In 2016, the organisation decided to adopt this new name, which is more explicit and forward looking. The association's official name - "Public Eye, association based on the Berne Declaration" - maintains a link with its origins and underlines the commitment to remain loyal to the central tenets of its founders.

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Support our demands for a responsible Switzerland: become a member of Public Eye!