The Government of Switzerland fully meets the minimum standards for the elimination of trafficking. The government continued to demonstrate serious and sustained efforts during the reporting period; therefore Switzerland remained on Tier 1. These efforts included prosecuting and convicting more traffickers than last reporting period.
The government assisted more victims, increased anti-trafficking awareness campaigns, and drafted an anti-trafficking brochure for labor inspectors. Prosecutions and convictions for labor trafficking remained low compared to sex trafficking and the government did not provide complete data on investigations. The government decreased victim identification, resulting in the fewest victims identified since Protection services for victims of labor trafficking, men, and children remained inadequate. The government remained without a national standardized identification and referral mechanism and continued to lack legal safeguards to protect trafficking victims against potential prosecution, which sometimes resulted in victim penalization.
Continue to investigate and prosecute suspected labor and sex traffickers, and sentence convicted traffickers to adequate penalties, which should involve serving ificant prison terms.
The government made uneven law enforcement efforts. While the overall of prosecutions and convictions increased, insufficient sentencing weakened deterrence, prosecutions and convictions for labor trafficking remained low compared to sex trafficking, and the government did not provide complete data on investigations. These penalties were sufficiently stringent and, with respect to sex trafficking, commensurate with those prescribed for other serious crimes, such as kidnapping.
Inconsistent with the definition of trafficking under international law, Article does not include a demonstration of force, fraud, or coercion as an essential element of the crime. NGOs stated the lack of an explicit legal definition for labor exploitation under Article complicated labor trafficking investigations, and limited data collection necessary for prevention efforts.
The government did not disaggregate data on law enforcement efforts between sex and labor trafficking. For the third consecutive year, the government did not provide complete annual investigative data; however, a few notable investigations were reported by the media and NGOs, including conducting a large-scale investigation that involved the forced labor of approximately 50 construction workers who were fraudulently recruited abroad.
Cantonal authorities prosecuted defendants inan increase compared with in and in Nigerian sex trafficking victims remained numerous during the reporting period, although there were few corresponding prosecutions involving Nigerian victims.
The government convicted 21 traffickers in the most recent year for which complete data were availablean increase compared with 13 in At least 17 of the convictions were for sex trafficking; prosecutions and convictions for labor trafficking remained low during the reporting period, with NGOs asserting many labor trafficking cases were instead pursued as administrative labor code violations, resulting in lesser consequences and decreased deterrence.
Of the 21 convictions incourts fully suspended the prison sentences or fines of nine traffickers 43 percent and imposed fines with no prison time on two traffickers for sex trafficking 10 percent. Courts issued ificant prison sentences to four traffickers 19 percent and partial prison sentences to six traffickers 28 percentfor a total of 47 percent of traffickers serving prison time, which did not meet the minimum standard.
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A trend of insufficient sentencing practices weakened deterrence, potentially undercut efforts of police and prosecutors, and created potential security and safety concerns, particularly for victims who cooperated with investigations and prosecutions. Of the 13 traffickers convicted in38 percent served one year or longer in prison. The government did not report any investigations, prosecutions, or convictions of officials complicit in human trafficking offenses.
Trafficking investigations and prosecutions fell strictly under the jurisdiction of individual cantons, except for cases involving organized criminal networks, which fell under federal police FedPol jurisdiction. At least six of 26 cantons had their own specialized anti-trafficking police units. Insufficient personnel, resources, and the absence of a mandate that included human trafficking hampered in-depth labor inspections; additionally, civil society reported labor inspectors frequently regarded foreign victims as criminals working illegally.
The government conducted multiple anti-trafficking training events for law enforcement inincluding 21 officers from five foreign countries and a roundtable for 40 officials that focused on trafficking in the hospitality sector. In Maythe Specialized Unit against the Trafficking in Persons and Smuggling of Migrants FSMM and the police held a three-day anti-trafficking training for 29 cantonal police officers, prosecutors, and migration officials.
The government continued to facilitate international investigations and criminal trials. Law enforcement assisted in 21 new international trafficking cases during the reporting period, eight of which related to extradition and seven to mutual legal assistance.
Through three t action days between law enforcement, labor inspectors, and EUROPOL inthe government reported conducting at least labor inspections that resulted in the identification of at least five victims, 46 potential victims, and 10 suspected traffickers compared with the identification of 54 potential victims and seven suspects in While there were eight suspected child sex tourism cases reported to FedPol during the last Strictly girls fuck Switzerland period, the government did not report investigating or prosecuting any Swiss nationals for child sex tourism abroad.
There were no reported cases of suspected child sex tourism in The government made uneven victim protection efforts. While victim identification decreased and civil society asserted victims were frequently penalized for unlawful acts traffickers compelled them to commit, the government reported assisting more victims than last reporting period. Authorities identified fewer victims for the second year in a row, making it the fewest victims identified since Incantonal authorities reported identifying victims inat least 67 of whom were sex trafficking victims in Of the trafficking victims identified by the government in11 were minors and eight were Swiss.
The government did not disaggregate data between sex and labor trafficking.
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The federal government continued to lack national standard victim identification and referral procedures across cantons; however, it distributed a ly updated victim identification checklist to all cantons and relevant organizations in December Civil society noted concerns regarding the absence of a national victim protection program. Eighteen of 26 cantons had roundtables, which functioned as victim referral mechanisms; roundtables included police, prosecutors, and NGOs.
Victim assistance was available in at least 24 out of the 26 cantons, providing a wide-ranging network of care facilities mainly tailored to the needs of women and children; however, trafficking specific services varied from canton to canton. The government provided government-funded trafficking-specific counseling for potential trafficking victims incompared with in At least four government-funded and NGO-operated shelters continued to provide specialized assistance for victims of trafficking, two of which provided services to children.
However, according to GRETA and civil society, the government did not have specialized shelters or assistance for child victims of trafficking, nor did it have standardized identification procedures for children. Cantonal authorities maintained jurisdiction on providing protection for victims, and trafficking victims were entitled to free and immediate assistance centers that varied from canton to canton.
At least 13 cantons maintained referral agreements with NGO-operated victim assistance facilities that specialized in trafficking.
With the noted variances, cantons generally provided victims with a minimum of four weeks of emergency lodging and living allowance, several hours of consultations with a lawyer, mental health counseling and medical treatment, transportation, and translation services. If recovery required more time, the victim assistance law obligated the government to assume the additional cost of longer-term care. Victims had free movement in and out of shelters. While victim assistance was not dependent on cooperation with law enforcement, some NGOs asserted that authorities sometimes used victim penalization to pressure victims into cooperating with law enforcement.
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Ina leading government-funded NGO assisted trafficking victims, of which 76 were new victims, were women, 12 transgender, and five male. Fifty-four percent were sex trafficking victims, 13 percent were labor trafficking victims, and the remaining 33 percent were unspecified forms of trafficking. In23 percent of the new trafficking victims were from Africa, particularly Nigeria, Eritrea, Ethiopia, and Somalia, and 16 percent were from Eastern Europe, particularly Hungary, Romania, and Bulgaria. This compared with trafficking victims, of whom 80 were new victims, in A variety of sources referred victims to the NGO, including other NGOs, government-operated counseling centers, government offices, foreign consulates, police and judicial authorities, healthcare sector employees, lawyers, and family.
Civil society stated services for labor trafficking victims were limited and the government lacked case management resources for victims in the asylum system.
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According to NGOs, services for child and male victims were inadequate, especially shelter, counseling, and victim referral resources. The government provided male victims temporary shelter in hotels or government-funded NGO-operated shelters for men. The government also facilitated assistance to foreign victims of trafficking, which included financial support; however, authorities granted few long-term residency permits and instead provided victims with repatriation assistance to help them return home.
Cantonal immigration authorities were required to grant victims a minimum day reflection period to decide whether to participate in judicial proceedings against their traffickers, but longer stays generally required cooperation with law enforcement.
Inthe government granted 52 individuals reflection periods, 77 short-term residence permits, and 14 hardship-based residence permits 56 reflection periods, 91 short-term residence permits, and 16 hardship-based residence permits in Inan NGO reported that the government granted refugee status to three trafficking victims and temporary admission to 13 victims it assisted during the reporting period. Authorities continued to note the growing of trafficking victims among asylum-seekers during the reporting period.
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The State Secretariat for Migration SEM identified 73 potential victims undergoing the asylum process in 56 female and 17 malecompared with in 56 female and 17 male. Victim services were only available to victims who experience trafficking within Switzerland; asylum-seekers remained vulnerable as they could be deported back to their first country of EU entrance without first receiving victim protection.
GRETA noted cantons often did not transfer victims detected in the asylum system to specialized trafficking victim support centers because of financial constraints but continued to host them in asylum centers. GRETA also noted the lack of adequate accommodation and supervision for children, and lack of a systematic approach; GRETA urged the government to address these issues in its report. Implementation of the asylum law aimed to increase the protection of unaccompanied minors and facilitated earlier identification of victims by providing them with free legal representation.
However, civil society criticized the government for not systematically referring victims to services once identified and often shifting responsibility to the legal advisor.
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Trafficking victims could request restitution from their trafficker through criminal proceedings, and the government reported awarding restitution to 25 victims ina slight decrease compared with 31 victims in GRETA and civil society noted restitution amounts were insufficient, especially compared to other Strictly girls fuck Switzerland crimes such as rape, and traffickers frequently did not pay.
Trafficking victims could also pursue damages through a civil case, but the government did not report awarding damages to any victims during the reporting period. GRETA criticized the lack of viable avenues for victim restitution when victims had no verifiable expenses or employment losses because the courts found it difficult to quantify the specific amount of lost income. While the government had a legal norm prohibiting the non-punishment of victims of crimes, the relevant provision of Swiss law did not explicitly address human trafficking or the criminal coercion often experienced in trafficking cases.
NGOs asserted that victim penalization was common, with victims frequently charged with violating immigration laws, labor laws, or local prostitution regulations. GRETA urged the government to adopt a provision on the non-punishment of specifically trafficking victims and encouraged additional training of public prosecutors in this regard. The government made uneven prevention efforts. Under FedPol, FSMM coordinated national efforts, including anti-trafficking policy, information exchange, cooperation, and training, and convened approximately 12 meetings during the reporting period.
The government remained without an official independent national anti-trafficking rapporteur.