Skiplink Navigation

Main Features

Painful past Almost 9,000 ‘slave children’ claim compensation

Former 'slave children'at a demo in 2014

Former 'slave children' at a demonstration calling for compensation in 2014


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.

+ Read more about the historical background to “slave children”

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.


Neuer Inhalt

Horizontal Line

SWI on Instagram

SWI on Instagram

SWI on Instagram

subscription form

Form for signing up for free newsletter.

Sign up for our free newsletters and get the top stories delivered to your inbox.

Click here to see more newsletters