How Safe Is Switzerland? – Information All International Students Need To Know
According to the Global Peace Index in 2019, Switzerland is in 11th place in the ranking of the safest countries in the world. Switzerland is rated as one of the countries with a high standard of living, with a stable economy and a happiness index that ranks third in the 2021 World Happiness Report. In addition, Switzerland is also one of the safest countries to live and travel in.
Historically, Switzerland has always kept a neutral position in world wars. This neutrality is self-imposed, enduring, and used to promote world peace and security. The last war that Switzerland participated in was in 1847, a civil war known as the “Sonderbund War”, which led to the creation of Switzerland as a federal state. By 1920, the country was recognized by the League of Nations as a neutral country.
With a neutral position, Switzerland has partly escaped wars and destruction in the world, but what are the factors that contribute to Switzerland’s reputation in terms of safety? Why is Switzerland known as the safest place to live in the world? Let’s take a look!
4 factors contribute to making Switzerland the safest country
It is no coincidence that Switzerland is one of the safest countries in the world, here are four factors that contributed to the reputation of Switzerland as we know it today:
Low crime rate
When talking about the safety of a country, the crime rate is something that most of us probably think of. The percentage that Swiss people became victims of any crimes in Switzerland in 2017 was 0.3 percent. The most common crimes in this country are pickpocketing and other petty crimes, often we are just victims of these “crimes” when in tourist areas.
The safest region of Switzerland is Zug with the lowest crime rate per population in Switzerland as well as in Europe.
On the other hand, during the past 19 years, Switzerland has not had a mass shooting despite the high number of gun owners. Right! The Swiss own a lot of guns! This is worth mentioning, which leads us to the second factor below!
Guns and Weapons Regulations in Switzerland
More than 2 million of the country’s 8.3 million people own guns. While this fact may be controversial, the homicide rate in Switzerland in 2017 was only 2.9 per 100,000 people. So, what makes this country one of the safest countries with such a high percentage of gun owners?
Strict laws of course.
Switzerland is known as a country with very strict laws. Almost everything is bound by some laws, and there is police force ready to make sure those laws are respected and obeyed.
Gun control law is one of the very different laws between Switzerland and the countries in Europe. It allows citizens to own a semi-automatic firearm, but the owner must meet certain conditions. The Swiss government created this law with the aim of preventing anyone with violent traits or who is incompetent from possessing and using a gun. All military service members are allowed to bring a gun home and keep it until the end of their military service.
A citizen who wants to buy a gun needs to explain why they need a gun and must obtain a special license to own it. People who have been convicted of a crime or are addicted to drugs/alcohol cannot own a gun.
Furthermore, before the authorities give someone guns, they will be trained in how to use them. Swiss authorities will keep a tab on people who buy and own guns, and also run background checks on those interested in buying guns.
The level of education of the Swiss people is very high. According to a report by the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), 86 percent of Swiss people have a high school diploma. And of course, the higher their education level, the less likely they are to be drawn into criminal activities.
Swiss people are very law-abiding people. They are friendly and do not like to get involved in noisy affairs. Even when something is not satisfied, they choose to voice their opinions in a very peaceful manner.
Switzerland is an egalitarian country, especially in terms of gender equality. When people are treated fairly, they are less likely to commit crimes. Under Swiss Federal laws, all people living in Switzerland enjoy equal education, employment and pay rate.
With a highly educated population combined with strict and equal laws, the country has become one of the highest levels of security places in the world. Therefore, for those who want to study in Switzerland or parents who want to send their children to study abroad, they can rest assured that the country is totally safe. However, nothing is absolute, so we strongly encourage international students to be safe wherever they go, not just in Switzerland.
Source: The Swiss Institute Of Management And Innovation