A petition containing 95,297 signatures calling for more to be done in the fight against child sex trafficking has been handed in to the federal authorities.
Children and young people who are affected by the trade should be treated as victims and not criminals, said the document.
The petition was handed in on Thursday by the Body Shop – which is running an international campaign - and has the support of Child Protection Switzerland and the non-governmental FIZ Advocacy and Support for Migrant Women and Victims of Trafficking.
The text wants more centres with expertise in recognising and looking after victims, as well as better collaboration between these centres and the cantonal and federal authorities. Victims should be granted permission to stay in Switzerland so that they can be better protected, it added.
In addition, the signatories called on Switzerland to ratify the Council of Europe Convention on the Protection of Children against Sexual Exploitation and Sexual Abuse.
The government said last year that it would ratify the agreement, which would outlaw prostitution by under 18 year olds. Currently it is permitted from age 16.
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