Legal basis - human trafficking in Switzerland

Human trafficking is the recruitment and trading of human beings for the sole purpose of exploitation. Traffickers take advantage of the inherent vulnerability of the victims and try - through deception, threat or use of physical or psychological violence - to wrench an agreement from their victims. Victims of human trafficking live right among us, even in Switzerland. Switzerland is either one of the stopovers or the final destination. Searching for victims is a difficult undertaking because human trafficking happens in secrecy. It is a very mobile and fast business. The free passenger traffic and our mobile infrastructure allow a swift relocation of people without any controls or inspections. In order to discover and fight human trafficking, it is important to keep a close eye on what is happening around us. Police investigations and legal prosecution of human trafficking require expertise as well as highly developed technologies.

Legal foundation: the Swiss criminal code (StGB)

Human trafficking

StGB Art. 182

1. Any person who, as a supplier, intermediary or customer, engages in the trafficking of a human being for the purpose of sexual exploitation, exploitation of his or her labor, or for the purpose of removing an organ, is liable to a custodial sentence or to a monetary penalty. The soliciting of a person for these purposes is equivalent to trafficking.

2. If the victim is a minor or if the offender acts for commercial gain, the penalty is a custodial sentence of not less than one year.

3. In every case, a monetary penalty must also be imposed.

4. Any person who commits the act abroad is also guilty of an offence.

Exploitation of sexual acts, Encouraging of prostitution

StGB Art. 1951

Any person who

1. Induces a minor into prostitution or encourages a minor in his or her prostitution with the intention of securing a financial advantage,

2. Induces a person into prostitution by exploiting his or her dependence or a financial advantage,

3. Restricts the freedom to act of a prostitute by supervising himor her in the course of his or her activities or by exercising control over the location, time, volume or other aspects of his or her work as a prostitute or,

4. Makes a person remain a prostitute against his or her will,

Is liable to a custodial sentence not exceeding then years or to a monetary penalty.

Sexual acts with minors against payment

StGB Art. 196

Any person who carries out sexual acts with a minor or induces a minor to carry out such acts and who makes or promises payment in return is liable to a custodial sentence not exceeding three years or to a monetary penalty.