Human trafficking – prevention and strengthening of local capabilities

Human trafficking is a modern form of slavery and a serious infringement of victims’ human rights. It typically involves forced labour, sexual exploitation or the removal of victims’ organs. Migrants are particularly at risk, as people are more vulnerable when they are outside of their own country and not covered by their own legal system. The SDC is committed to improving the prevention of human trafficking, protecting victims more effectively and developing local capabilities and social services through the provision of advice.

SDC focus

Switzerland regards human trafficking as a serious violation of human rights. The SDC is particularly involved in tackling this problem in eastern Europe and the South Caucasus. When it comes to human trafficking, these are not only countries of origin but also of transit and destination. The SDC’s activities include:

  • implementing information campaigns and raising awareness among young people, particularly marginalised groups within society (e.g. boarding school pupils and orphans)
  • strengthening national repatriation programmes for victims of human trafficking and, where possible, developing international programmes
  • strengthening regional networks, organisations and key players that are involved in the prevention of human trafficking and the assistance, repatriation and reintegration of victims of trafficking
  • contributing to interdepartmental working groups, such as the working group on international cooperation on migration and the Swiss Coordination Unit against the Trafficking in Persons and the Smuggling of Migrants, in order to ensure that Switzerland has a coherent domestic and foreign policy in this area

Background

Human trafficking is a global problem, one that has intensified over the last 20 years as globalisation has increased. The poorer the country, the easier it is for criminal trafficking networks to recruit people. Human trafficking is particularly widespread in Latin America, south-east Asia, and eastern and south-east Europe. Countries of transit and destination are typically industrialised countries.

By contrast with people smugglers, who generally transport consenting individuals to another country in return for payment, human traffickers make false promises in relation to employment or marriage and threaten or use violence in order to exploit their victims and enslave them. However, it is difficult to draw a clear line between these two types of activity.

The International Labour Organisation estimates that in 2012, 21 million people around the world became victims of human trafficking, either in their own country or abroad. Some 90% of cases involve forced labour. Of those, one-fifth concern sexual exploitation, while four-fifths relate to the agricultural sector, the building trade, industry or domestic staff in private households.

According to estimates by the European Commission and the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe, 55% of all victims worldwide are women or girls.

These days, human trafficking is one of the most lucrative crimes there is, on a par with the trafficking of weapons and drugs. The total financial proceeds of human trafficking worldwide are in excess of USD 10 billion.

Current challenges

Human trafficking is an international problem, one that has been exacerbated by the internet and the fact that travel has become so much easier. In order to effectively tackle human trafficking, preventive measures need to be implemented and victims need to be better protected. There is also a need to increase the number of prosecutions and conduct more intensive information campaigns in migrants’ countries of origin regarding the dangers of economic migration.

International cooperation is also important. Thus far, however, this has only addressed selected aspects of human trafficking, such as the trafficking of women and forced labour. Accordingly, further regulation and agreements are required at the international level.

Current projects

Object 1 – 12 of 14

Migration for social well-being and economic development in Sri Lanka

Family members excitedly examine their travel documents

01.03.2016 - 29.02.2020

Every year, large numbers of Sri Lankans leave their country to work abroad for a few years, usually in the Gulf States. They thereby further Sri Lanka's economic development but at the same time risk having their basic human rights, and their labour rights in particular, violated. That is why the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) is working for the establishment of a framework that ensures decent working conditions for migrant workers in the region.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Sri Lanka
Labor migration
Migration generally (development aspects and partnerships)
OTHER SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES
HUMANITARIAN AID
Employment policy and administrative management
Material relief assistance and services

01.03.2016 - 29.02.2020


CHF 6'850'000



Forging a common «Nile culture» through music and academic training

Nile Project musicians on a boat.

01.05.2015 - 31.10.2019

To make the Nile Basin a common ground and shared ecosystem for the inhabitants of the eleven countries through which the Nile River flows, the SDC supports the innovative musical and educational Nile Project. The project brings together artists, students and concerned citizens. A series of acclaimed concerts has taken place since 2013; at the same time, students are developing initiatives to foster a better use of water resources.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Egypt
Economy and Employment
Education
Migration
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Education
Environment
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Economy and Employment
Culture
Disaster Risk Reduction – Preparedness
Education policy
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) development
Environment protection
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) development
Vocational training and skills development
Access to information incl. support to media and ICT
Mitigation of the effects of climate change
Culture
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Migration generally (development aspects and partnerships)
Protection and access
EDUCATION
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
OTHER SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES
COMMUNICATIONS
INDUSTRY
HUMANITARIAN AID
EDUCATION
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
BUSINESS & OTHER SERVICES
INDUSTRY
GENERAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
OTHER SOCIAL INFRASTRUCTURE AND SERVICES
COMMUNICATIONS
GENERAL ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION
HUMANITARIAN AID
Education policy and administrative management
Women's equality organisations and institutions
Culture and recreation
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) development
Disaster prevention and preparedness
Vocational training
Public sector policy and administrative management
Business support services and institutions
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) development
Environmental policy and administrative management
Promotion of development awareness (non-sector allocable)
Human rights
Women's equality organisations and institutions
Culture and recreation
Information and communication technology (ICT)
Biosphere protection
Material relief assistance and services

01.05.2015 - 31.10.2019


CHF 750'000




Application of Migration Policy for Decent Work of Migrant Workers

01.04.2016 - 30.06.2019

Men and women who opt for migrating abroad in search of employment will benefit from better protection (pre-departure orientation, international standard contracts, etc.) as the project will improve the overall migration policy and migration governance framework of Bangladesh. The project will also strengthen institutions responsible for managing migration, by building the capacity of the government and private sector to expand and improve services for migrant workers.


Migration Network Activities

01.03.2016 - 30.06.2020

The SDC Migration network provides the platform to share knowledge and experience on programmes, efforts and global developments in the field of migration and development at operational and policy dialogue level. It constitutes the framework to support activities contributing to the different network components, hence contributing to increase sharing of knowledge and enhanced connections among stakeholders.


ONU Femmes: Accès aux Services judiciaires pour des femmes et des enfants victimes de la traite des êtres humains au Maroc

01.09.2015 - 30.04.2019

Malgré les réformes initiées au niveau juridique et institutionnel, la traite des personnes reste un phénomène croissant au Maroc. La mise ne place d'un mécanisme national de lutte contre la traite coordonnée entre de nombreux services publics et les acteurs de la socitété civile est nécessaire pour une meilleure protection des victimes. Les récents développements juridiques et polititques ont dynamisé la lutte contre la traite. La phase actuelle du projet vise à améliorer la protection des victimes à travers un appui technique et une meilleure coordination. 


Programme Development North Africa

01.07.2015 - 30.06.2020

Originally conceived to support the development of activities under the Swiss North Africa Programme launched from scratch in 2011, the 5th phase with a much reduced budget allows deepening relevant thematic and context knowledge, developing and formulating future strategic priorities and setting-up adapted or new projects for SDC in a fragile and complex environment. For 2015-16 the focus is on preparatory work for the Swiss North Africa programme 2017-20.


International Dialogue on Migration and Development

01.05.2015 - 31.12.2019

The international dialogue on migration and development subsumes different global processes and activities by a number of key stakeholders. In this context, the debate on migration and development has evolved rapidly and has generated outcomes that improve the protection of migrants and enhance their development contribution. Switzerland has played a significant role in this process. SDC will continue supporting relevant initiatives, institutions and partners to further strengthen the global governance on migration and development.


Decent work for migrants in the Middle East

01.01.2015 - 31.12.2019

The Middle East attracts high numbers of migrants from South/South East Asia. While migrants constitute an important contribution to the Gulf State economies and the development of their countries of origin, they remain vulnerable to exploitation and abuse along the migration chain. This programme builds on gains made during its first phase and seeks to improve legal frameworks and their implementation in favour of decent work conditions for migrants. The approach combines operational support to migrants, capacity building of national and civil society actors with regional and global policy dialogue efforts.


Institutional Strengthening of IGAD

31.05.2014 - 31.12.2020

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is a sub-regional organization in the Horn of Africa. In line with Switzerland’s decision to increase its engagement with IGAD, the proposed contribution aims at strengthening the organization institutionally based on its political legitimacy, thematic relevance and capacity to contribute to peace and development in one of the world’s most fragile regions.


Decent Work for Migrants from South Asia

01.11.2013 - 30.06.2019

Labour migration is highly significant for the development of countries of origin in South Asia, but migrants are often not sufficiently protected by legal frameworks and therefore vulnerable to exploitation and abuse. This programme supports governments and the civil society to create and implement policies for improved protection of migrants and to enhance their contribution to the development of their country of origin. Concrete lessons learnt from this programme at the national level will be fed into regional and global dialogues.


Object 1 – 12 of 14