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 marriages. 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.

Trafficking in Person (TIP) REPORT 2023

The U.S. State Department again ranks Switzerland TIER 2 in its new report on human trafficking, saying Swiss efforts to eliminate human trafficking were insufficient in the past year.

OSCE Special Representative visits Switzerland, welcomes multi-stakeholder approach to combating human trafficking and urges better identification and assistance to victims

ZURICH, 21 October 2022 – Valiant Richey, OSCE Special Representative for Combating Trafficking in Human Beings, concluded his three-day visit to Switzerland today. He commended the country’s multi-stakeholder and multi-disciplinary approach to anti-trafficking through cantonal roundtables. He also emphasized the need to step up identification and assistance to all victims of trafficking and boost prevention measures, particularly those related to the misuse of technology.   

Article OSCE (21.10.2022)

OSCE Report

Report: Nigerian Black Axe criminal gang expands in Switzerland

A Nigerian criminal network known as Black Axe is becoming increasingly active in Switzerland, with over 100 members, and is expected to continue to expand, according to a media report.

Artikel (19.12.22)

Arrests dismantle Swiss-Hungarian sex trafficking ring

A coordinated police operation between Switzerland and Hungary has broken up a criminal network involved in trafficking womefor forced sex work.

Article (28.11.22)

Spanish government presents bill to fight human trafficking

BARCELONA, Spain -- Spain’s government presented a new bill Tuesday with the goal of providing better protection for economically vulnerable migrants who are in the clutches of international human trafficking rings.

Article (02.12.22)

The Council of Europe’s Group of Experts on Action Against Human Trafficking (GRETA) has its second evaluation report on the implementation of the Council of Europe Anti-trafficking Convention by Belarus.

The report assesses progress in the implementation of the Convention since the publication of the first evaluation report by GRETA in 2017 and until July 2022 including during the period marked by the unprecedented movement of migrants on Belarus’ borders in 2021 (see French version of the report).

Council of Europe (27.10.22)

Child sex traffikcing endures in bali despite collaps of international tourism

BALI, Indonesia — The 16-year-old girl met the man on a messaging app. He offered to take her sightseeing at a lake in his car. For the poor daughter of a trash collector, it was a luxury she couldn’t refuse.

Article by Adi Renaldi, David Pierson (06.01.22)

The ultra-violent cult that became a global mafia

A two-year BBC investigation into Black-Axe - a nigerian student fraternity which evolved into a dreaded mafia-group- has unerathed new evidence of infiltration of politics, and a scamming an killing operation spanning the globe.

Article by Africa Eye

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.