Human Trafficking

Traffickers take advantage of people’s poverty and lack of prospects to lure or trick them through false promises of work or prospective mrriages. Once the victims arrive at the final destination they are forced, through threats, violence or debt bondage (for example, to cover travel expenses), into a state of dependency and  exploitation. 

Find out more in our collection of media reports.

286 arrested in global human trafficking and migrant smuggling operation

Criminal groups behind human trafficking and migrant smuggling have been hit hard in an operation coordinated by INTERPOL, with 286 suspects arrested worldwide.

Law enforcement officials from 47 countries participated in Operation Liberterra (5 - 9 July), carrying out some 500,000 inspections at checkpoints and airports as well as at hotspots identified through intelligence and investigations.

Press release by INTERPOL (26.07.2021)

New UN report reveals impact of COVID on human trafficking

new study released on Thursday by the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) illustrates the devastating impact of COVID-19 on victims and survivors of human trafficking and highlights the increased targeting and exploitation of children during the course of the pandemic.



The US Department of State downgrades Switzerland in its new Trafficking in Persons Report. The Swiss efforts in the elimination of trafficking were not sufficient in the past year.

Ruling Against Facebook In Sex Trafficking Case Threatens Key Legal Shield For Social Media Platforms

Facebook can’t be sued for what people say on its platform, but it can be for letting sex traffickers get away with using the site as a recruiting tool, the Texas Supreme Court ruled Friday, opening the door to more lawsuits and setting up a possible appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court that could erode a key legal protection for social media companies.


Article by Graison Dangor (25.06.2021)

Romania Scraps Statute of Limitations for Human Trafficking

The Romanian parliament has amended the criminal code to remove the statute of limitations for crimes involving human trafficking, forced labour and sexual violance

BalkanInsight, Marcel Gascon Barbera (03.06.21)

Spanish police rescue 12-year-old girl sold by her parents

Three people have been arrested after a month-long investigation that led officers from Córdoba in southern Spain to the northwestern city of A Coruña.

Article by Elisa Lois (15.04.21)

Abetting human trafficking

After last year's "pastillas" corruption scandal that involved illegally bringing in Chinese nationals to work in Pogos, the Bureau of Immigration is once again in hot water, this time over the trafficking of Filipino women to such countries as Syria. Most of these women were promised jobs in the United Arab Emirates, according to a report in The Washington Post, only to end up being sold as "modern-day slaves" in war-torn Syria, where they were subjected to physical and sexual abuse by their employers.

Philippine Daily Inquirer (21.03.2021) 

Romania's sex trafficking trade: 'There is no other life they know'

TV report + article on trafficking in human beings for the purpose of sexual expolitation. The report portrays Romanian women who have been exploited in Romania and the UK.

Report by Lucy Watson (18.11.2020) 

India sees increase in child trafficking amid pandemic

One evening in August, a 14-year-old boy snuck out of his home and boarded a private bus to travel from his village in Bihar to Jaipur, a chaotic, crowded and historical city 800 miles away in India's Rajasthan state.

Article: CNN Jessie Yeung (26.10.20)

European Anti-trafficking Day:

Ahead of the 14th European Anti-Trafficking Day (18 October), the Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) calls for full respect for the rights of victims of trafficking in human beings during the restrictions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Articel: Counseil of Europe (16.10.20)

Report reveals linkages between human trafficking and forced marriage

Across the world, girls as young as 12 are being forced or tricked into marrying men who exploit them for sex and domestic work, in what the UN Office on Drugs and Crime (UNODC) has called an “under-reported, global form of human trafficking”. 

UN News (07.10.2020)

Fight against trafficking needs radical shift to genuinely human rights-based approch: UN expert

Profound changes are needed to fight human trafficking around the world, and to combat it effectively States must use a human rights-based approach rather than viewing it as strictly a law enforcement issue, a UN human rights expert said today.

Article by UNHRC (02.07.2020)

FBI warns of human traffickers luring victims on dating apps

The warning highlights one of the potential risks associated with revealing too much privat information online.

Article by Amer Owaida (17.03.2020)

TIP report

The 20th “Trafficking in persons report” by the US Department of State has several recommendations for Switzerland, such as the need to focus on identifying labour trafficking.