Privacy policy

Switzerland for UNHCR is committed to protecting and respecting the information you entrust to us. References to "we" or "us" are to Switzerland for UNHCR (Foundation CHE-297.811.210), rue de Montbrillant 96, 1202 Geneva, Switzerland.  

This privacy statement (hereinafter: the "Statement") sets out how Switzerland for UNHCR collects, uses and stores your personal data. This includes the various ways in which you interact with us, including in person, by email or telephone and through the website (the "Site").  

The term "personal data" means any information relating to an identified or identifiable natural person.

This statement is drawn up in accordance with the applicable data protection legislation in Switzerland, in particular the Swiss Federal Data Protection Act ("DPA"), but also the European General Data Protection Regulation 2016/679 ("GDPR").  

If you have any questions about how your personal data is used, please contact us using the following information:  

  • Tel: 022 552 78 08   
  • Email :   
1. Who is responsible for processing your personal data ? 

Switzerland for UNHCR is the data controller for the personal data concerned by this statement. Its headquarters are located at rue de Montbrillant 96, 1202 Geneva (Switzerland).

2. When do we collect your personal data ?  

We collect your personal data:  


Your personal data is collected when you make a donation, when you register for one of our events or e-newsletters, when you communicate with us through any means of communication or when you leave a comment, resp. a like, on our social media accounts.   

Through the use of our website

When you use the Switzerland for UNHCR contact form, we usually collect the following information:  

  • Name   
  • First name  
  • E-mail  

If you make a donation or tell us that you have included Switzerland for UNHCR in your will, we usually collect the following personal data  

  • Title, Last name and First name  
  • E-mail  
  • Address  
  • Your bank or credit card details (which are held in accordance with legal requirements).  
  • Donations you have already made.  
  • The date and source of the donation.  

If you register for a survey or fundraising event, we may also collect, for example  

  • information about your interests, e.g. areas of activity or situations to which UNHCR responds;  
  • the age range to which you belong;  
  • information about the social networks you use;  
  • information about your educational background.  

Switzerland for UNHCR also collects data about visitors to its site. This data is collected via cookies under the conditions detailed in Article 8 of this statement (Cookies).   


a) We may collect your personal data through a fundraising organisation or platform, provided that you have indicated your support for Switzerland for UNHCR and have given your consent to the collection.   

We leave it to you to consult the privacy policies of these organisations when you provide them with your personal data.  

b) Through your use of social networks  

We may obtain information about you from your social network accounts or services, for example Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, provided you have set up your account to give us permission to do so. It is your responsibility to check your settings and the privacy policies of these social networks, which are not our responsibility.  

 In some cases, we may hold publicly available information from social networks (such as social network usernames or follower counts) in our "FaceLift" system for managing social relationships with our supporters. This gives us an overview of who is keeping the conversation going on topics related to Switzerland for UNHCR's work. If we were to contact a certain social network user, we would do so using the contact information made public by that user.   

c) Via an address rental agency for humanitarian emergency campaigns.  

Please note that you can change your preferences at any time or request that you no longer receive communications from us. 

3. Legal basis and purpose of processing personal data

Every organisation needs a legal basis to collect and use personal data.  

Switzerland for UNHCR uses personal data on the basis of :

  • Consent (e.g. to send certain communications by email, post, telephone or SMS);  
  • A need to process in order to fulfil an obligation imposed on us by law (e.g. to process a tax deduction return);   
  • The legitimate interests of Switzerland for UNHCR as a non-profit foundation, provided that such use of data does not infringe on the rights of the data subjects.  

These legitimate interests include   

  • Good charitable governance, including the achievement of our humanitarian objectives, statutory and financial reporting and other regulatory compliance purposes;  

  • Administration and transparent operational management, including responding to enquiries, providing information and services, ensuring research, enabling event management, volunteer administration and meeting employment and recruitment requirements.

  • Responsible fundraising and donation campaigns, including administering campaigns and donations, sending direct marketing communications, thank you letters by post or email. 
4. How do we use your personal data ?  

The way we use your personal data depends on the purpose for which you provide it.  

Your personal data will not be used for any purpose other than that for which it was voluntarily provided to us.   

Your personal data is shared or transferred to third parties if such sharing or transfer is authorised by you or is necessary to fulfil the purposes for which you provided it to us. This means that we may share your personal data with external service providers who assist us in achieving our purposes.  They use your data only for the purposes of carrying out their mandate. For example, by subscribing to our newsletter, you agree to the processing of your personal data (name and email) for the purpose of sending you emails.  

Personal data may also be shared with third parties where required by law or by a court order.  

Online form and feedback  

We will use your personal data to respond to your questions, requests or register you for events.  


We use surveys to understand who visits our website and how, which helps us to create better content for you and make our website easier to use. We may ask you for your email address if you wish to participate in future surveys or tests. We will only use it to ask you to provide information in connection with these types of requests.  


We use your personal data to process and maintain a record of your donation in accordance with applicable Swiss data retention laws. We also use your personal data to provide you with the tax documentation you require.   

Direct marketing

We use direct marketing to inform you about what Switzerland for UNHCR and UNHCR are doing and how your donations are being used.  

We may also use it for emergency fundraising or to solicit other types of assistance.  

We will always respect your preferences and endeavour to send you relevant information in the format you choose.  

We may send you information by email, post, SMS and telephone if you have agreed to hear from us in this way.  

Our email marketing allows you to disable or update your preferences in the footer of each email. You can unsubscribe at any time.  

If you would like to make any changes to the way we communicate with you, please contact us by email at or by telephone on 022 552 78 08.  

5. Who has access to your personal data ?

Qualified personnel 

Your personal data is only accessible by our qualified personnel. We regularly check who has access to your information. Your personal data will only be accessible to the extent necessary to achieve the purpose for which it was collected. 

Sub-processing of data  

We may also pass on your personal data to persons and companies who provide services to us as subcontractors, for example, for newsletter publishing and distribution services, marketing analysis services and computer hosting services.  

Our subcontractors are subject to a confidentiality obligation and may only use your personal data in accordance with our instructions and this statement.  

Certain third parties 

Your personal data may be communicated to governmental, judicial or administrative authorities to the extent required by law.  

In no case will we sell your personal data to third parties or other organisations. 

6. How do we keep your information secure ?  

We use appropriate technical and organisational measures and precautions to protect your personal data from loss, misuse or alteration. This also includes limiting access.  

For donations, Switzerland for UNHCR uses the Raisenow fundraising platform and offers the following payment options: Visa, Mastercard, American Express, PostFinanceCard, PostFinance E-Finance, TWINT, as well as BVR/QR code and DD/LSV. The data is transferred in encrypted form. Switzerland for UNHCR does not store any card data internally. Your payment data is transferred directly to external partners certified by the credit card industry (PCI DSS). Our service providers may only use the information for the exclusive purpose of carrying out their tasks and are obliged to comply with Swiss data protection regulations.  

Please note, however, that Switzerland for UNHCR cannot guarantee absolute security of your personal data, as the storage and electronic transmission of personal data involves certain risks.  

7. How long do we keep your personal data ?  

We do not retain your personal data for longer than is necessary for the purposes for which it is processed.  

For example, we only keep your e-mail address for the purpose of sending you a newsletter from which you can unsubscribe at any time.  

If you request to no longer receive information from us, we will only keep your basic data in our suppression list to avoid sending you unwanted mail in the future. If you make a donation, we will keep your details for the purpose of providing you with a tax receipt for your donation. 

8. What is our cookie policy ?

What is a cookie ?  

Cookies are small pieces of information sent by a web server to a web browser that allow the server to uniquely identify the browser on each page. Other tracking technologies similar to cookies are also used. These may include web beacons and tracking URLs. Web beacons (also known as clear GIFs or web beacons) are placed on certain pages of our site and generate a generic notice of your usage. If you disable cookies, web beacons simply detect an anonymous visit to our site. Tracking URLs are used to determine from which referring site you are accessing our site. All of these and similar technologies are referred to as "cookies" in this policy.  


Cookies perform many tasks: for example, they allow you to navigate efficiently between pages while remembering your preferences and optimising your overall user experience. They can also make the advertisements that appear online more relevant to you and your interests.  


Cookies themselves do not identify an individual user: they only identify the computer or mobile phone you are using via a randomly generated identification tag.  

For more information on cookies, please visit and where you will find additional information on behavioural advertising and online privacy.  

What type of cookies do we use ?  

1/ Our cookies  

The types of cookies (including those from our subcontractors) that we use on our site and their purposes are listed below:  

Category 1: strictly necessary cookies  

These cookies are essential to enable you to move around our site and use its functions. Without these cookies, many of the features on our site may not work properly and/or may be blocked for you.  

We use these cookies to enable you to access the features we offer on our site. The personal data collected by these cookies is processed on the basis of our legitimate interest in the proper functioning of our site.  

Category 2: performance cookies  

These cookies collect information about how you or other users use our site, for example which pages you visit most often, and whether you get web page error messages.  

We use these cookies to maintain the efficiency and ease of use of our site and to learn how it is used. In most cases, these cookies do not collect information that identifies the user.  

If personal data is collected by these cookies, it will be processed on the basis of our legitimate interest in knowing and optimising the use of our site.  

Category 3: functional cookies  

These cookies allow our site to remember the choices you have made (such as your username, language or region).  

We use these cookies to maintain the efficiency and ease of use of our Site and to provide you with a smooth browsing experience.  

The personal data collected by these cookies is processed on the basis of our legitimate interest in providing you with a pleasant site to use.  

Category 4: Targeting and advertising cookies  

These cookies are used to get to know the users of our site better, to adapt its content, to carry out statistics relating to the use of our site and to show you, in certain cases, advertisements better adapted to you and your interests on third party sites.   

You may refuse these cookies at any time through your browser settings. If required by applicable law, these cookies are only placed with your consent. We track your consent using a technical cookie, so that if you delete cookies from your devices, we will have to ask you again if you consent to such cookies.  

In particular, we use Google Analytics, Google Tag Manager and Google Analytics Advertising Features to anonymously track usage and activity on our Site. Google Analytics is a web analytics service provided by Google LLC ("Google"). Google Analytics uses cookies to analyse how you use the website.  The data collected in connection with the use of these software tools may be transferred to servers in the United States. 

You can visit to find out how Google uses the personal data it collects. You may refuse the use of cookies by downloading and installing the browser plug-in available at An opt-out cookie will be set on your computer to prevent future collection of your personal data. Further information on terms of use and privacy can be found at or  

2/ Cookies issued by third parties  

We may include on our site computer applications from third parties, such as social media, which allow you to share content from our site with other people or to let these other people know your consultation or your opinion regarding content on our site.  

The issuance and use of cookies by these third parties is subject to their own privacy policies. These cookies are not under our control. Please refer to the privacy policies of these third parties to determine how their cookies work.  

9. Transfer abroad ?  

The hosting of this site and the online fundraising platform are located in Europe. Personal data is therefore not directly transferred by Switzerland for UNHCR outside of Europe and will not be sold under any circumstances.   

10. How can you change your personal data and what are your rights ?  

You have a number of rights under Swiss and European legislation governing the protection of your personal data. These rights may be limited, particularly if they infringe on the rights and freedoms of others.   

These rights include :   

  • The right of access: you have the right to know what personal data we hold about you and to request, in writing, access to your personal data. We will provide you with this information as soon as possible, unless the request is complex. We may require proof of identity before we can disclose personal data.  

  • The right to information: You have the right to be informed about how your personal data will be used. This statement, together with any additional information or notices provided to you either at the time you provide your details or otherwise, is intended to provide you with that information. 

  • The right to withdraw consent: where we process your personal data on the basis of your consent (for example to send you marketing SMS or emails), you can withdraw that consent at any time.

  • The right to object: you also have the right to object to the processing of personal data where we are using it for our legitimate interests.  

  • The right to restrict processing: in certain situations, you have the right to request that the processing of your personal data be restricted because you disagree with its accuracy or legitimate use. 

  • The right to be forgotten: in some cases, you have the right to have your personal data erased. Where you have requested not to receive marketing material from us, we will need to retain some information to ensure that you are not contacted in the future. 

  • The right to rectification: if you believe that your personal data is inaccurate, you have the right to request that it be rectified or updated.  

  • The right to data portability: where we process your personal data because you have given us your consent, you have the right to request that this personal data be transferred from one service provider to another.  

  • The right to lodge a complaint: if you are not satisfied with the way in which we have processed your personal data, you have the right to lodge a complaint with the Federal Data Protection and Information Commissioner (FDPIC), Feldeggweg 1, CH-3003 Berne (tel: +41 (0)58 462 43 95).   

11. Notification of changes   

We will revise or update this policy if we change our practices or develop better ways to keep you informed about them. Changes to this statement will apply from the date they are posted on our site and do not have retrospective effect.  

12. Languages  

In the event of any discrepancy between the French version of this statement and the foreign language versions, the French version shall prevail.