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Human Trafficking

Prevalence, Abuse & Exploitation of Street Children

In the first decade of the 21st Century                                               

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 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 aspect(s) of street life are of particular interest to you.  You might be interested in exploring how children got there, how they survive, and how some manage to leave the street.  Perhaps your paper could focus on how some street children abuse the public and how they are abused by the public … and how they abuse each other.  Would you like to write about market children? homeless children?  Sexual and labor exploitation? begging? violence? addiction? hunger? neglect? etc.  There is a lot to the subject of Street Children.  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.


Street Children & Homeless Juveniles in Switzerland? - Pilot Study in the City of Zürich

Prof. Dr. R. Fatke (Project Leader), Dr. T. Gabriel (Project Leader), Lic. phil. R. Stohler, B. Aeschbacher, Universität Zürich, Duration of Project: Aug 2003 to Apr 2004

[accessed 26 July 2011]

The project investigates "street children" and homeless marginalized youth, their problems and coping strategies in Zürich.


*** ARCHIVES ***

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]

CHILDREN - The government has no special programs for children, and there is no special governmental office for children's matters; however, the government was strongly committed to children's rights and welfare. It amply funded a system of public education and need-based subsidies of health insurance.

Education was free and compulsory for 9 years, from age 6 or 7 through age 16 or 17, depending on the canton. Some cantons offered a 10th school year. Almost all children attended school. Almost 60 percent completed professional vocational or technical training with another 30 percent continuing to earn higher-level specialized or university degrees.

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]

[54] While noting the current policy of the State party to prevent and fight drug use by adolescents, the Committee is concerned at the increasing use and sale of illegal drugs among adolescents.

[59] The Committee is concerned at the lack of information on Roma and travelers and their children in the State party and that there is no policy for these children.

Broke and homeless on the streets of Zurich

Luigi Jorio, SWI (Swiss Broadcasting Corporation), 15 Oct 2014

[accessed 8 January 2017]

SURVIVING ON THE STREET - A sleeping bag, a bed roll and a rucksack with a few clothes –Schwald did not own much more than that when he ended up on the streets. It was 2005, and he had found refuge in an abandoned hay cart under a railway bridge, on the outskirts of the city. “I’ll never forget the cold winter nights. I used to light a fire, but it wasn’t enough,” he recalls.

Without a cent in his pocket, Schwald begged in the most strategic locations: in front of the railway station, outside shops or at tram stops. A good day would net him CHF50 ($52). His approach was not to look too unkempt and above all to be polite.

When it rained or was cold, there was always the shopping centre. This was a comfortable place not far from his bolt-hole, and one Schwald regarded as a “living room” to spend the daytime. There was always someone ready to buy him a cup of coffee and a slice of pie. A staff member let him have the key to the toilets. There he could clean up and wash his clothes.

A MILLION POOR AND AT RISK - In Switzerland, poverty affects 7.7% of the population, according to recent figures from the Federal Statistical Office. This means that about 590,000 people do not have enough income to provide for their own subsistence (food, clothing, transportation), a place to live, and legally required health insurance. Many of these people in fact have jobs.

THE WEIGHT OF LONELINESS - So Schwald chose to live on the streets. The homeless lifestyle has no rules and a person can feel free, he says. This freedom has its price, however. “I lacked contacts and a social life. The loneliness was the hardest thing to take.”

Country's Tradition Includes Concern For Humanity

[Last access date unavailable]

"Nobody thinks there are street children in Switzerland but there are in a few cities." There were also beggars, "but we have to be careful, they are very rich beggars."

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.

Lions Clubs International (LCIF) Releases Annual Report

The International Association of Lions Clubs, 2005-03-28

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

[accessed 26 July 2011]

42-YOUTH RELATED GRANTS - The grants ranged from US$100,000 to expand a Lions-Quest program in Singapore and US$75,000 for a mobile clinic for street children in Switzerland to US$75,000 to build a primary school in Turkey and US$55,491 to construct a children's home in Russia.

Friends-International: The Street Children Network - Swiss Samlanh

[Last access date unavailable]

ACTIVITIES: ADVOCACY: Swiss Samlanh is publicizing the issues surrounding street children in Switzerland.  Various media are being used such as public workshops and photo exhibitions.

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, "Street Children - Switzerland",, [accessed <date>]