Degrading work! Labor exploitation and human trafficking in Switzerland – What can we do?


time: 13.00 - 17.15

location: Progr

address: Eingang Speichergasse 4, Bern

Human trafficking is usually associated with exploitation in prostitution. However, the members of the Swiss Platform against Human Trafficking “ Plateforme Traite” repeatedly assist people who have been exploited in other sectors. For example, they worked as a domestic worker, in a nail studio, on a construction site or in a restaurant kitchen. They became victims of human trafficking for labor exploitation.


On the occasion of the European Day against Trafficking in Human Beings on October 18, Plateforme Traite organizes an event on this topic and explores the following questions:


What do we mean by trafficking for labor exploitation? Where does it take place? What does society need to do to fight this crime and give victims their rights? What positive examples are there from the field where, thanks to successful cooperation, human trafficking has been uncovered in Switzerland and victims have been protected?


When: Monday, October 18 2021, 1:00-5:15 p.m., followed by an aperitif.
Where: PROGR, entrance Speichergasse 4, Bern


The event is open to all interested people, it is especially addressed to professionals from authorities, counseling centers and NGOs.




program (subject to changes):

13.00 Welcome
13.10 State of research on the topic of human trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation in Switzerland
13.30 Experiences from counseling victims of trafficking for labor exploitation
14.00 Workshop 1 and 2
15.00 break
15.20 Workshop 3 and 4
16.30 Trade unions and the fight against human trafficking
16.45 Closing round and audience question, followed by an aperitif


Workshop details:


Workshop 1

This workshop will present the collaboration between the Asylum Legal Representation of Region Ticino and Central Switzerland (a merger of SAH Ticino and Caritas Switzerland) and Antenna MayDay. This has made it possible to intercept and identify a significant number of human trafficking cases in the last two years. It will be explained how this collaboration came about, and how it is implemented (by using a case study of human trafficking for labor exploitation).


Workshop 2
In order to act against human trafficking, cooperation between the actors is fundamentally important: In this workshop, FIZ and the Zurich Cantonal Police show how, despite different roles and tasks, cooperation regarding victims of human trafficking for the purpose of labor exploitation can be designed in a concrete, constructive manner, always with the intention having a good victing protection.


Workshop 3
According to the law, victims of labor exploitation have the right to a short-term residence permit during the criminal proceedings against the perpetrator. After the conclusion of the criminal proceedings, these persons can apply for an extension of their residence permit with a application on an case of hardship. The workshop proposed by Astrée and the Migration Office of the Canton of Vaud demonstrates that it is possible to apply the legal provisions while respecting the rights of victims and Switzerland’s international obligations regarding human trafficking.


Workshop 4
CSP Geneva organizes a workshop together with a prosecutor of the Canton of Geneva. Details follow


Corona protection concept
Since more than 50 people will attend, the event is subject to a Covid certificate requirement. The aperitif will take place outside, except in case of rain. The protection concept will be adapted depending on the pandemic situation.
The event takes place within the framework of “Weeks against Human Trafficking“.