[ Human Trafficking, Country-by-Country ]

SWITZERLAND (Tier 1) Extracted from the U.S. State Dept 2020 TIP Report

The Government of Switzerland fully meets the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government continued to demonstrate serious and sustained efforts during the reporting period; therefore Switzerland remained on Tier 1. These efforts included prosecuting and convicting more traffickers than last reporting period. The government assisted more victims, increased anti-trafficking awareness campaigns, and drafted an anti-trafficking brochure for labor inspectors. Although the government meets the minimum standards, a high number of suspended sentences resulted in 52 percent of convicted traffickers serving no prison time, and only 33 percent were sentenced to one year’s imprisonment or longer, which undercut efforts to hold traffickers accountable, weakened deterrence, and created potential security and safety concerns, particularly for victims who cooperated with investigations and prosecutions. Prosecutions and convictions for labor trafficking remained low compared to sex trafficking and the government did not provide complete data on investigations. The government decreased victim identification, resulting in the fewest victims identified since 2015. Protection services for victims of labor trafficking, men, and children remained inadequate. The government remained without a national standardized identification and referral mechanism and continued to lack legal safeguards to protect trafficking victims against potential prosecution, which sometimes resulted in victim penalization.

Prioritized Recommendations

Continue to investigate and prosecute suspected labor and sex traffickers, and sentence convicted traffickers to adequate penalties, which should involve serving significant prison terms. Establish a standardized national identification and referral mechanism for all victims.Increase victim identification training for all front-line officials, with increased focus on identifying labor trafficking.Increase law enforcement efforts for labor trafficking and provide sufficient resources, personnel, and training.Increase access to specialized services, especially for labor trafficking victims, asylum-seekers, male, child, and transgender victims.Amend the anti-trafficking provision of the criminal code to include force, fraud, or coercion as an essential element of the crime in accordance with international law, and ensure that the criminal code clearly defines labor exploitation.Ensure labor trafficking is investigated and prosecuted as a trafficking offense and not pursued as an administrative labor code violation.Develop safeguards for victims to protect them against traffickers freed on suspended sentences.Enact a legal provision in addition to the existing non-punishment legal norm to protect specifically trafficking victims from prosecution for acts that traffickers coerced them to commit.Strengthen international law enforcement cooperation to prevent and investigate child sex tourism.Appoint a national rapporteur to provide independent review of government anti-trafficking efforts.