The United States has criticised Switzerland again for its record on preventing human trafficking.
In its annual review of international efforts to eliminate sexual slavery and the trade of humans, the State Department also pointed out on Monday that Swiss law does not prohibit prostitution by 16- and 17-year-olds.
Last year’s report ranked Switzerland as a “Tier 2” country for that reason. This year it gave it the same ranking.
Prostitution is currently permitted from age 16 in Switzerland. Last summer, Justice Minister Simonetta Sommaruga signed a Council of Europe convention that would outlaw prostitution by people under 18. The Swiss government now needs to draft the appropriate legislation.
The new American report noted that Switzerland had taken important legal steps but said it needed to do more. It recommended that Switzerland sentence traffickers more harshly.
US Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton estimated that between 1,500 and 3,000 people in Switzerland were affected by human trafficking – most of them women and minors schlepped there to work in the sex trade or as beggars and thieves.
swissinfo.ch and agencies