Protection and rights of victims of human trafficking for labour exploitation
Trafficking in human beings is often associated with prostitution, less often with exploitation of labour and even less with illegal activities committed under duress. The last two offences are rarely prosecuted in Switzerland.
Recommendations of the Plateforme Traite:
Improving identification of persons who have been trafficked for labour exploitation
Trafficking in human beings is an inherently hidden crime: It requires a trained eye and political will to combat this form of human rights violation, which is often difficult to detect. The training of professionals who come into contact with potential victims of human trafficking for labour exploitation, in particular the training and raising of awareness for labour inspectors and public prosecutors, is of fundamental importance and must be promoted and financed in all cantons.
Extended interpretation of Article 182 of the Swiss Criminal Code (CC)
If victims agree to an exploitative employment relationship because of their precarious living situation, the law enforcement authorities often prosecute the offence only as “Profiteering” (Art. 157 CC) and not as “Trafficking in human beings” (Art. 182 CC). In this case, victims are not considered victims of human trafficking and do not have access to the rights deriving from this status. Swiss criminal law does not define the coercive means of human trafficking, such as the abuse of a position of vulnerability, which is listed in Article 4 of the European Convention on Human Trafficking (The Convention has been in force in Switzerland since 1 April 2013). We call for the application of Art. 182 CC in accordance with Article 4 of the Convention.