Human Trafficking: Many Bulgarian victims in Switzerland

Written by on October 19, 2016 in Bulgaria - Comments Off on Human Trafficking: Many Bulgarian victims in Switzerland

Just last weekend, 300 “Walks for Freedom” in 40 countries were organized. Those events are demonstrations against human trafficking. This dirty business spread all over Europe decades ago. In some countries, such as Switzerland, authorities are now gearing up, in order to fight this disgusting form of crime.

Human Trafficking is often about prostitution, like in a case, which is nowin front of a German court, which we covered ten days ago, and in which both the victim and the perpetrator are Bulgarian. But there seems to be a high number of human trafficking cases not connected to prostitution as well, especially in Switzerland.

Many human trafficking cases can be fought effectively, as long as authorities in different countries cooperate, experts believe. But there will always be a large “dark figure” (an estimated number of unknown cases), which the authorities do not know about, or which nobody knows about, apart from the victims and perpetrators.

Yesterday, on the “European Day against Human Trafficking” a panel of experts from Switzerland, Bulgaria and Romania met in Berne, in order to discuss ways to combat the crime. As it turns out, a large number of victims are from those two eastern European countries, while Switzerland is a target country, as well as a transit country, in lots of cases, the daily “NZZ” (Neue Zürcher Zeitung) reports.

Switzerland has already taken action in both Bulgaria and Romania, in order to intensify the ongoing cooperation. According to “NZZ”, this is about decreasing the number of human trafficking cases, about preventing cases wherever possible, and about providing support for victims who were freed, for their reintegration in their home countries.

The Swiss daily also quotes a police official from Berne who says, the fight against human trafficking in Switzerland had been concentrating on prostitution for a long time, while this kind of exploitation took place in other areas too. It seems to be about organized begging as well, about nannies and housekeepers, and in one Swiss case even about harvesting organs.

Apart from combating human trafficking more effectively, an improved protection for rescued victims was on the agenda of the conference in Bern. One of the many problems is that, in some countries, victims, including children, are being treated like perpetrators.

The “NZZ” article (in German)

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