Last Updated: Friday, 21 November 2014, 13:47 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report - Switzerland

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 12 June 2007
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2007 Trafficking in Persons Report - Switzerland, 12 June 2007, available at: http://www.refworld.org/docid/467be3db23.html [accessed 22 November 2014]
DisclaimerThis is not a UNHCR publication. UNHCR is not responsible for, nor does it necessarily endorse, its content. Any views expressed are solely those of the author or publisher and do not necessarily reflect those of UNHCR, the United Nations or its Member States.

Switzerland (Tier 1)

Switzerland is a destination and, to a lesser extent a transit country for women trafficked from Ukraine, Romania, Hungary, Poland, Bulgaria, the Czech Republic, Slovakia, Moldova, Brazil, the Dominican Republic, Thailand, Cambodia, Nigeria, and Cameroon for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation. Limited cases of trafficking for the purposes of domestic servitude and labor exploitation were also reported.

The Government of Switzerland fully complies with the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. In January 2007, the Swiss government amended its penal code to provide for extraterritorial jurisdiction to prosecute traffickers; Swiss authorities are now able to prosecute any Swiss citizen, or foreign national present in Switzerland, for trafficking offenses committed abroad, regardless of whether trafficking is a crime in that country. The government continued to work well with NGOs and provided adequate funding for victim assistance and public awareness campaigns, both domestically and in source countries. The government should increase the number of convicted traffickers who serve time in prison.

Prosecution

The Government of Switzerland continued to make progress in its law enforcement efforts during the reporting period. Switzerland prohibits both trafficking for sexual exploitation and trafficking for labor exploitation under the new Article 182 of the Swiss penal code. Penalties prescribed range up to 20 years' imprisonment and are sufficiently stringent and commensurate with penalties prescribed for other grave crimes, such as rape. During the reporting period, authorities conducted 39 investigations, up from 30 in 2005. At least 20 suspected traffickers were prosecuted, up from 16 in 2005. Convictions were obtained against 20 traffickers, compared to 22 convictions obtained in 2005. The majority of the convicted traffickers served no time in prison. Of the 20 traffickers convicted in 2006, only seven served time in prison, with sentences ranging from two to six years. The remaining 13 traffickers received suspended sentences and served no time in prison. This is compared to 2005, when 6 of 22 convicted traffickers served between 5 and 16 months in prison, while 16 traffickers served no time in prison. Swiss authorities cooperated with other governments in the investigation and prosecution of numerous trafficking cases.

Protection

The government continued to improve its victim protection efforts during the reporting period. In 2006, cantonal immigration authorities offered 39 trafficking victims 30-day stays of deportation, up from 30 victims in 2005. The government continued to encourage victims to participate in trafficking investigations and prosecutions. Three victims were offered short-term residency permits to stay in Switzerland for the duration of the legal proceedings against their traffickers, down from 18 in 2005. Three victims were granted long-term residency permits on the grounds of personal hardship, down from eight in 2005. The government provided funding to NGOs for trafficking assistance services and shelter; local victim assistance centers counseled 126 victims during the reporting period, up from 84 the previous year. In 2006, three cantons signed written agreements with NGOs that formalized victim referral processes. Federal authorities successfully raised awareness among cantonal immigration authorities in order to reduce the possibility of trafficking victim deportations. NGOs report that regulations staying deportations and improved coordination with law enforcement officials have led to a considerable increase in the number of victims participating in trafficking investigations and prosecutions. The government ensured that victims were not penalized for unlawful acts committed as a direct result of their being trafficked.

Prevention

Switzerland continued its prevention efforts during the reporting period. The government again provided more than $1 million for victim assistance and trafficking prevention programs in multiple source countries, including Moldova, Montenegro, Russia, Lebanon, and Iran. The government provided approximately $225,000 to support a trafficking hotline in Russia. In January 2007, the government appropriated funding for the launch of trafficking awareness prevention campaigns in preparation for the 2008 European Soccer Cup.

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