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Campaign launched to tackle human trafficking

Swiss authorities have launched an awareness campaign to help identify victims of trafficking who are being forced to work in the country.

A brochure published on Monday outlines some red flags: precarious or illegal residency status, limited or no access to one’s own travel documents or passport, and cursory or exaggerated work contracts.

The campaign is mainly aimed at raising awareness among labour market inspectors, writes the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), which organised the initiative in the framework of the “national action plan against human trafficking”.

Trafficking for the purposes of forced work is punishable by law in Switzerland. Last year the police recorded 99 cases, up from 85 in 2018.

Cases come from across the exploitation spectrum, SECO says: some are trafficked in order to work, others to provide sexual services, or others for the purpose of organ donation.

NGOs working with vulnerable groups cite even higher numbers. The “Advocacy and Support for Migrant Women and Victims of Trafficking (FIZ) reported 255 cases in 2019, many of whom were forced to work as prostitutes.