Around 8,800 former forced child workers have applied for reparations through a government programme, the Federal Office of Justice has told the Swiss news agency SDA-ATS.
Switzerland has agreed to payexternal link up to CHF25,000 ($26,200) in compensation to those who as children were victims of forced labour policies or placed in institutions, often suffering abuse or neglect. The “Verdingkinder” practice continued until 1981.
There are around 12,000-15,000 former victims who are still alive, the justice office estimates.
The government announced the CHF300 million compensation scheme in September 2016, and it was then launched in the December of that year. The authorities had earlier offered official apologies to the survivors of this dark period of Swiss history,
The compensation scheme came after Guido Fluri launched an initiativeexternal link in 2014 to spur reparations.
Victims officially had until March 31, 2018 to put in their claims for compensation. Just ahead of the deadline, a spike in interest was reported, after a slow start in the number of claimants coming forward.