Recommendations on identification and protection of trafficked victims

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The State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) published the reports of the “Asylum and Human Trafficking” working group on May 25, 2021. The final report contains recommendations to better identify potential victims of human trafficking and to guarantee their rights in the asylum procedure.

LSI’s member FIZ, together with CSP Genève and Swiss Refugee Aid (SFH) have welcomed the report as specialist organisations and recognize that further action is required due to international obligations. In particular, the accommodation of those affected must be improved, as well as the protection of victims during Dublin procedures, which is currently insufficient.

According to the three organizations, Switzerland should check for each individual case, whether the person concerned has access to adequate protection measures in the country, it is returned too. Otherwise, Switzerland should respond to the asylum application itself, to prevent potential endangerment and exploitation of victims. Also additional measures should be taken by the country, to ensure that victims of human trafficking are referred to appropriate accommodation that is managed by specialized organizations, such as for example the sheltered accommodation of FIZ. Where such specialized structures do not yet exist, they must be created.

From the point of view of the 3 organizations, Switzerland must further rethink its practice of estimating the age of underage asylum seekers, which does fundamentally not comply with international guidelines and is also problematic for victims of human trafficking. For example, the authorities too often carry out medical examinations to estimate their age and do not adhere to the principle that, in case of doubt, they are considered to be minor.

See letter by FIZ and the other organisations, for more information contact