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Counselling service Human trafficking remains a problem for Switzerland

Prostitute's legs with high heels

The number of human trafficking cases involving migrant women is a worry for support groups.

(Keystone / Andreas Arnold)

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. 

The Zurich-based entity will receive funding from the region’s Catholic and Evangelical Reformed churches to create a new project entitled “Comprehensive Protection for Victims of Human Trafficking in the Asylum Sector”.

FIZ said it was necessary to draw on Church funds as the state will not provide money if the scene of the crime cannot be established as being in Switzerland. The victims of human trafficking originated from 42 different countries.

The majority (14%) were from Hungary with 8% coming from Nigeria and Romania and 7% from Bulgaria.

FIZ also provides general counselling for migrant women and says the number of these sessions rose from 299 in 2017 to 348 last year.

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