Last Updated: Friday, 27 May 2016, 08:49 GMT

U.S. Department of State 2001 Trafficking in Persons Report - Switzerland

Publisher United States Department of State
Author Office to Monitor and Combat Trafficking in Persons
Publication Date 12 July 2001
Cite as United States Department of State, U.S. Department of State 2001 Trafficking in Persons Report - Switzerland, 12 July 2001, available at: [accessed 29 May 2016]
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 primarily a destination country for trafficked women, and is also a transit country. The number of women trafficked into Switzerland is increasing. Most of the women trafficked for purposes of sexual exploitation originate from former Eastern bloc and Soviet countries, including the Balkan countries, Hungary, Russia, Ukraine, Latvia, Lithuania, and Estonia. A decreasing number of women are from Thailand, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, and Colombia, and some African countries such as Cameroon.

The Government of Switzerland meets the minimum standards and is taking significant additional steps at the federal level to combat trafficking. The law criminalizes trafficking in persons for purposes of sexual exploitation. The penalties for trafficking are commensurate with those for rape and sexual assault. The Government actively investigates and prosecutes cases of trafficking. Approximate statistics available at the time of this report indicate that from 1998-2000, the authorities investigated an average of 30 cases per year under the law prohibiting human trade, with an average of four convictions each year. In addition, the approximately 70 cases investigated annually under "encouragement to prostitution," with 29 convictions in 1998 (the latest period for which information was available) probably include traffickers. Since 1905, Switzerland has had a government office designated to combat trafficking of girls for the purpose of commercial sexual exploitation, which has evolved to include all forms of trafficking. Since 1993, the law on aid to victims has offered aid to crime victims through counseling and protection, and has safeguarded victims' rights in criminal prosecutions with special rules for trial procedures and for compensation and redress. While cantonal police authorities often rapidly deport women charged with illegal prostitution, federal police are encouraging them to delay deportation to allow for counseling of trafficking victims and to increase the likelihood that victims may testify against traffickers. The Federal Police Office regularly exchanges information with NGO's on networks, transit routes, and other trafficking trends. Federal and regional governments provide NGO's with funding for services to victims. The Government has pilot programs at embassies in source countries, such as Thailand, to educate visa applicants about trafficking risks. In response to a March 2000 parliamentary motion, the Federal Council (Cabinet) appointed an interagency working group to assess anti-trafficking and victim protection measures.

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