Human trafficking

Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery. The traffickers impose their will upon the victims, exploiting their helplessness and exerting pressure on them. Even if the victim agrees to this exploitation, it still remains illegal.

The following are considered aspects of human trafficking:

  • Sexual exploitation e.g. forced prostitution
  • Forced labour, including slavery, domestic exploitation, coercion to commit criminal acts or to beg
  • Organ removal and trade

Victims of human trafficking are encountered more and more frequently in the asylum process. They are particularly vulnerable and often highly traumatised, and require special protection and support. The State Secretariat for Migration SEM has thus established internal processes to improve the flow of information and to rapidly identify victims of human trafficking and provide them with appropriate care and protection. It also has a staff awareness-raising and training programme. These processes are now being optimised as part of the Asylum – Victim Protection programme in the 2017–2020 National Human Trafficking Action Plan.

Human trafficking is a criminal act which is automatically prosecuted under Swiss law. It frequently goes hand-in-hand with other criminal offences. If you observe any suspicious behaviour or hear of a case of human trafficking, please contact the police by calling 117.

Further information on human trafficking and illustrative cases can be found on the fedpol website:

Last modification 11.04.2019

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