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Human Trafficking & Modern-day Slavery

Poverty drives the unsuspecting poor into the hands of traffickers

Published reports & articles from 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]

Description: Description: Switzerland

Switzerland is primarily a destination and, to a lesser extent, a transit country for women and children trafficked for the purposes of commercial sexual exploitation and forced labor. One NGO reported that roughly 50 percent of the trafficking victims counseled in Switzerland came from Eastern Europe; 27 percent were from Latin America; 14 percent were from Asia; and the remaining nine percent came from Africa.

There is reportedly forced labor in the domestic service sector. Trafficking of ethnic Roma minors, who reportedly are brought from other European countries to various Swiss cities to beg and commit petty theft, is a rising concern of Swiss authorities.   - U.S. State Dept Trafficking in Persons Report, June, 2009   Check out a later country report here and possibly a full TIP Report here



CAUTION:  The following links 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 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 Human Trafficking are of particular interest to you.  Would you like to write about Forced-Labor?  Debt Bondage? Prostitution? Forced Begging? Child Soldiers? Sale of Organs? etc.  On the other hand, you might choose to include precursors of trafficking such as poverty and hunger. There is a lot to the subject of Trafficking.  Scan other countries as well.  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-



Charity reveals tragedy of forced marriages

Adam Beaumont in Geneva, swissinfo, 7 December 2006

[accessed 28 December 2010]

[accessed 13 August 2020]

Thousands of women trapped in forced marriages in Switzerland are suffering severe mental and physical abuse, say the authors of the first Swiss study into the practice.  The charity Surgir (Rise), which carried out the survey, is now calling on the government to draw up a national strategy to aid victims.  Announcing the findings in Geneva on Wednesday, Jacqueline Thibault, the organisation's president, described the scale of the problem as "enormous".  She added that many victims were too afraid to escape forced marriages for fear of reprisals, including so-called "honour killings".


*** ARCHIVES ***

255 cases of human trafficking in Switzerland in 2019

SWI -, 11 May 2020

[accessed 12 May 2020]

Last year marked a record high number of cases of human trafficking in Switzerland, a support group for female migrants reported on Monday.

The “Advocacy and Support for Migrant Women and Victims of Traffickingexternal link” (FIZ) group said in its annual report that it recorded 255 cases in 2019, 169 of which involved women.

The victims came from countries including Nigeria, Hungary, Afghanistan, and Romania, and were often destined for the prostitution industry, FIZ said. However, a growing number are also being trafficked for work in private homes or the accommodation sector.

Human trafficking remains a problem for Switzerland 20 May 2019

[accessed 21 May 2019]

A support group for female migrants provided care for 108 new cases of human trafficking in Switzerland last year. The “Advocacy and Support for Migrant Women and Victims of Trafficking” (FIZ) service said 34 of the victims were asylum seekers.

Taken together with the 113 ongoing consultations from previous years, FIZ says the number of cases of women being trafficked into the country (many for prostitution) remains high.  In 2017, FIZ provided support for 228 women. To combat the problem, FIZexternal link has joined forces with Church groups to provide better care for the victims.

2020 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices: Switzerland

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, 30 March 2021

[accessed 27 June 2021]


According to antitrafficking NGOs who provided services to victims, incidents of forced labor occurred primarily in the domestic-service, catering, agriculture, tourism, hospitality, construction, and nursing industries. Labor trafficking in the forms of forced begging, stealing, and financial scams occurred in several cantons.


The government effectively enforced laws and policies to protect children from exploitation in the workplace. The Federal Department of Economic Affairs, Education, and Research  monitored the implementation of child labor laws and policies, and cantonal labor inspectors effectively inspected companies to determine whether there were violations of child labor laws. Cantonal inspectors strictly enforced these provisions.

Freedom House Country Report

2020 Edition

[accessed 8 July 2020]


Although the government complies with international standards for combating human trafficking, according to the 2019 edition of the US State Department’s Trafficking in Persons Report, Switzerland remains a destination country for victims. Labor regulations are generally enforced, but there is no national minimum wage, and migrant workers are more vulnerable to exploitative labor practices and dangerous working conditions.

Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor

Office of Child Labor, Forced Labor, and Human Trafficking, Bureau of International Labor Affairs, US Dept of Labor

[accessed 20 January 2020]

Note:: Also check out this country’s report in the more recent edition DOL Worst Forms of Child Labor

[Select Switzerland]

The Department of Labor's annual Findings on the Worst Forms of Child Labor focuses on the efforts of certain U.S. trade beneficiary countries and territories to eliminate the worst forms of child labor through legislation, enforcement mechanisms, policies and social programs.

Human trafficking allegations involve Swiss diplomatic missions in Pakistan

Canadian Broadcasting Corporation CBC News, 19 May 2006

[accessed 28 December 2010]

Switzerland has announced it is replacing all its embassy and consular staff in Pakistan after accusations some employees were involved in a human trafficking racket.

Switzerland shut the visa section at its Islamabad embassy earlier this month, following a Pakistani investigation into the illegal issuing of Swiss visas that has led to a number of arrests.

Swiss Envoys in Pakistan Embroiled in Human Trafficking, Islamabad, May 8, 2006

[accessed 28 December 2010]

The issue came to the surface after local media started highlighting the plight of Pakistani visa applicants who complained of sexual harassment by Swiss embassy officials.

Women’s groups highlight cabaret club abuses

Isobel Leybold in Zurich, swissinfo, 13 Jan 2004

[accessed 28 December 2010]

Cabaret dancers in Switzerland will still face violence and sexual exploitation, despite attempts to improve their lot, according to women’s groups.

About 1,200 women come to the country a year, usually on short-term permits, to work in Switzerland’s 400 cabaret clubs.  But at press conference in Zurich on Tuesday, ProKoRe, an umbrella group for organisations lobbying for improved rights for sex workers, said that abuses including dishonesty over pay, violence and sexual exploitation were still rife.

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]

[36] The Committee welcomes the entry into force of article 268(c) of the Civil Code which will allow adoptive children to know their biological parents and the ratification process expected to be completed in 2003 of the Hague Convention of 29 May 1993 on Protection of Children an Co-operation in respect of Inter-country Adoption. However, the Committee remains concerned that children adopted abroad shall wait two years before being formally adopted which can lead to discrimination and statelessness. In addition, the Committee is concerned that, because of the inadequate follow-up, cases of ill treatment of children by adoptive parents have been reported.

[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.


Human Rights Reports » 2005 Country Reports on Human Rights Practices

U.S. Dept of State Bureau of Democracy, Human Rights, and Labor, March 8, 2006

[accessed 11 February 2020]

TRAFFICKING IN PERSONS – Trafficking into the country is primarily performed by individuals and small groups related through ethnic, clan, or family ties, as well as, occasionally, organized criminals. Traffickers often forced victims into prostitution and in many cases subjected them to physical and sexual violence, threatened them or their families, encouraged drug addiction, withheld their documents, and incarcerated them. Many victims were forced to work in salons or clubs to pay for travel expenses and forged documents and found themselves dependent on the traffickers. Generally the victims were unable to read, write, or speak the country's languages and were afraid to seek help from the authorities.

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