Four years after the Swiss government and cantons agreed an action plan against human trafficking, there is still no national protection programme for victims, criticises a specialist agency on the topic.
Susanne Seytter, head of the FIZ Advocacy and Support for Migrant Women and Victims of Trafficking, points out that this was one of the targets of the action plan, announced by Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga on October 18, 2012.
“The result is that support for victims of human trafficking is still fragmented and insufficient. It still really depends on the canton in which someone has been exploited,” Seytter told Swiss public radio, SRF, on Tuesday, European anti-trafficking day.
The cantons also decide on whether to grant residence permits to victims – and then only if they testify against the trafficker. This is another area where Seytter wants to see national regulation without any conditions.
“We’re calling for victims to be allowed to stay for at least six months, regardless of whether they have the courage to testify or not,” she said.
In the past two years, 200 victims have registered at FIZ alone. The vast majority are women who have been sexually abused.
This week, Sommaruga will attend a human trafficking conference in canton Ticino held by Interpol, the International Criminal Police Organisation.