Human trafficking: Swiss urged to improve victim protection

The report calls on Switzerland to carry out systematic police investigations into disappearances of children. Keystone/Peter Steffen

Switzerland has been told by the Council of Europe that it needs to step up efforts to tackle human trafficking, but it has also been praised for making progress over the past few years.

This content was published on October 9, 2019 - 14:23
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A special group of experts from the Strasbourg-based council, which is not connected to the European Union, called on the Swiss authorities to improve the identification and protection of victims of trafficking in a bid to crack down on labour exploitation.

“[We] recommend that Switzerland ensure that a formalised victim identification procedure is put in place in all cantons,” the council said in a statement published on Wednesday.

The expert report also urged the Swiss authorities to do more to prevent trafficking of unaccompanied or separated children by providing safe accommodation and adequate supervision.

“All victims of trafficking under Swiss jurisdiction, including asylum-seekers and people exploited abroad but identified by Switzerland, must benefit from assistance measures,” said a press release.

Progress

The council acknowledged that progress had been made since a first report on Switzerland in 2015, including the adoption of an action plan to fight human trafficking, training for officials and the launch of awareness campaigns for the public and medical staff.

The group of experts is an independent body which monitors how countries implement the council’s convention on action against human trafficking. Switzerland ratified the convention in 2012.

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