A migrant demonstration in Geneva | Photo: EPA/SALVATORE DI NOLFI
A migrant demonstration in Geneva | Photo: EPA/SALVATORE DI NOLFI

Switzerland has made progress when it comes to the identification and protection of victims of trafficking -- but there is still much to be done. That's what the Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) says in a new report.

The Council of Europe's (CoE) Group of Experts on Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA), while welcoming the progress made by Switzerland to improve the identification and protection of victims of trafficking, is also asking Swiss authorities to take further action. 

The CoE released the report by GRETA on Wednesday, October 9. 

Positive developments

In the paper, the trafficking experts note that progress has been made since GRETA's first report on Switzerland in 2015. This includes: 
- the adoption of the second National Action Plan to Fight Human Trafficking (2017-2020) 
- training for officials
- the launch of campaigns to raise awareness among public and medical workers
- an increase in the number of places in shelters providing specialized assistance to victims of trafficking, including men
- an increase in the number of victims granted state compensation 
- an increase in the number of criminal investigations regarding human trafficking

More needs to be done

GRETA recommends, however, that Swiss authorities ensure a formalised victim identification procedure is put in place in all cantons. The goal: to ensure that all victims of trafficking can benefit from the appropriate assistance and protection. 

The trafficking experts also want authorities to do more to proactively identify migrants who have been trafficked for the purpose of exploitating them as workers. They think Switzerland needs more and better trained labor inspectors. And they want authorities to involve trade unions and other relevant actors in the work of the cantonal roundtables on human trafficking. 

Improved efforts needed against trafficking of minors 

The new GRETA report says Switzerland must make efforts to prevent trafficking of unaccompanied children by providing safe accommodation and adequate supervision. The experts also believe that police needs to systematically carry out investigations into the disappearances of children. 

Further training and guidance should be provided to the police, NGOs, child protection authorities and social workers to enable the proactive identification of child victims of trafficking for different purposes, including the exploitation of begging and exploitation of criminal activities, the report states. 

GRETA also stresses that all victims of trafficking under Swiss jurisdiction, including asylum seekers and persons exploited abroad but identified in Switzerland, must benefit from assistance measures. 
 

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