Main Menu
Human Trafficking
Street Children


The Commercial Sexual Exploitation of Children

In the early years of the 21st Century, 2000 to 2025                      

Swiss Confederation (Switzerland)

Switzerland is a peaceful, prosperous, and stable modern market economy with low unemployment, a highly skilled labor force, and a per capita GDP among the highest in the world. Switzerland's economy benefits from a highly developed service sector led by financial services and a manufacturing industry that specializes in high-technology, knowledge-based production.  [The World Factbook, U.S.C.I.A. 2009]


CAUTION:  The following links and accompanying text have been culled from the web to illuminate the situation in Switzerland.  Some of these links may lead to websites that present allegations that are unsubstantiated, misleading or even false.   No attempt has been made to validate their authenticity or to verify their content.



If you are looking for material to use in a term-paper, you are advised to scan the postings on this page and others to see which aspects of child prostitution are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got started, how they survive, and how some succeed in leaving.  Perhaps your paper could focus on runaways and the abuse that led to their leaving.  Other factors of interest might be poverty, rejection, drug dependence, coercion, violence, addiction, hunger, neglect, etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to write about the manipulative and dangerous adults who control this activity.  There is a lot to the subject of Child Prostitution.  Scan other countries as well as this one.  Draw comparisons between activity in adjacent countries and/or regions.  Meanwhile, check out some of the Term-Paper resources that are available on-line.


Check out some of the Resources for Teachers attached to this website.

HELP for Victims

FIZ Makasi (NGO)
Country code: 41-



Experts warn of teenage prostitution trend

Thomas Stephens, swissinfo, Oct 28, 2008

[accessed 26 July 2011]

Teenage girls in Switzerland are increasingly turning to prostitution to be able to afford expensive designer goods, according to media reports.

The Swiss Child Protection Association has called for the age of consent in Switzerland to be raised from 16 to 18 in the case of prostitutes.  It warned that because the legal age for prostitution in neighbouring Germany was 21 and in France and Italy 18, Switzerland risked becoming a "paradise for tourists seeking teenage sex".  "We have to close this legal loophole," said Ruth-Gaby Vermot, a former parliamentarian who sits on the association's board. "Otherwise our slack legislation will attract punters from abroad who know they can have sex [with 16- or 17-year-olds] and not get punished."

Prostitution is legal in Switzerland. The age of consent is 16, although if the age gap between parties is three years or less – for example between a 13-year-old and a 15-year-old – no charges can be brought.

Study on Child Prostitution

ECPAT International Newsletters - Issue No:27  1/May/1999

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 26 July 2011]

[scroll down]

STUDY ON CHILD PROSTITUTION - ECPAT Switzerland published in March its report on “Child Prostitution in Switzerland”.  The 60 documented cases and eight in-depth interviews with victims show that commercial sexual abuse of children includes domestic violence, where fathers, stepfathers and other relatives rape children and then sell them to dealers for money.  At the same time, cases of children who flee from home to the streets and make their living from prostitution were also found.


*** ARCHIVES ***

ECPAT Country Monitoring Report [PDF]

Jessica Klinke & Elphie Galland, ECPAT International, 2012

[accessed 8 September 2020]


ECPAT’s Global Youth Partnership Project for Child Survivors and Youth at Risk of Commercial Sexual Exploitation (YPP) acknowledges the important role children and youth can play in the fight against sexual exploitation of children. This manual outlines good practices for organizations who seek to implement similar projects.

Human Rights Reports » 2019 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 10, 2020

[accessed 8 September 2020]

SEXUAL EXPLOITATION OF CHILDREN - The law prohibits commercial sexual exploitation, sale, offering or procuring for prostitution, and practices related to child pornography. Authorities enforced the law. The production, possession, distribution, or downloading of internet pornography that involves children is illegal and punishable by fines or a maximum sentence of one year in prison. With few exceptions, the law designates 16 as the minimum age for consensual sex. The maximum penalty for statutory rape is imprisonment for 10 years. The mandate of the federal police Cybercrime Coordination Unit included preventing and prosecuting crimes involving the sexual exploitation of children online. According to SSP statistics, nearly 300 children were sexually abused in 2018.

The law prohibits prostitution of persons under the age of 18 and punishes pimps of children subjected to trafficking in commercial sex with prison sentences of up to 10 years. It provides for sentences of up to three years in prison for persons engaging in commercial sex with children.

Concluding Observations of the Committee on the Rights of the Child (CRC)

UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, 7 June 2002

[accessed 28 December 2010]

[52] While welcoming the amendments to the Penal Code prohibiting the possession of hard-core pornography, including child pornography and the establishment of a new centre against cyber-crime in 2003, the Committee remains concerned at the lack of knowledge about the scope of sexual exploitation of children, in particular vulnerable groups, in the State party.

Five Years After Stockholm [PDF]

ECPAT: Fifth Report on implementation of the Agenda for Action

ECPAT International, November 2001

[accessed 13 September 2011]

[B] COUNTRY UPDATES – SWITZERLAND – According to government sources the Federal Council has adopted a Plan of Action following the UN Fourth World Conference on Women held in Beijing in 1995.  In that plan, there is a chapter on measures to improve the situation of girls including protection against sexual exploitation.

Report by Special Rapporteur [DOC]

UN Economic and Social Council Commission on Human Rights, Fifty-ninth session, 6 January 2003$FILE/G0310090.doc

[accessed 26 July 2011]

[69] The Penal Code criminalizes the trafficking of human beings for the purpose of sexual exploitation.  One case involving a minor was reported in 1997 and two in 1998.  A parliamentary commission is currently examining proposed legislation to improve the situation of foreign victims of trafficking.  The encouragement of a minor to prostitute him-/herself, the use of children in the production of pornography, and, since April 2002, the possession of child pornography are criminal offences.  However, children who have reached the age of sexual consent (16) may legally prostitute themselves.

ECPAT Switzerland

ECPAT International

At one time this article had been archived and may possibly still be accessible [here]

[accessed 26 July 2011]

RECENT ACTIVITIES: In a previous year, ECPAT Switzerland conducted research into the incidence of CSEC in Switzerland.  More recently the organization produced an extensive report on areas where there is need to take action against CSEC in the country.  ECPAT Switzerland will continue to pressure the central government to develop a plan of action against CSEC as per its commitment at the Stockholm Congress in 1996.




Human Rights Reports » 2004 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, February 28, 2005

[accessed 5 April 2020]

CHILDREN - With respect to the prosecution of child sexual abuse abroad, the law provides for prosecution in Switzerland only if the act is considered a crime in the country in which it took place.

All material used herein reproduced under the fair use exception of 17 USC § 107 for noncommercial, nonprofit, and educational use.  PLEASE RESPECT COPYRIGHTS OF COMPONENT ARTICLES.  Cite this webpage as: Patt, Prof. Martin, "Child Prostitution - Switzerland",, [accessed <date>]