A delegation of the Council of Europe's Group of Experts on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings (GRETA) carried out an evaluation visit to Switzerland on 28 August – 1 September 2023, as part of the third evaluation round of the Convention on Action against Trafficking in Human Beings. The focus of this evaluation round of the Convention is on trafficking victims’ access to justice and effective remedies. Prior to the visit, the Swiss authorities provided a reply to GRETA’s questionnaire for the third evaluation round. In addition to the new thematic focus, GRETA verified how the main recommendations made in its second evaluation report have been implemented.
During the visit, the GRETA delegation met Ms Nicoletta della Valle, Director of the Federal Office of Police (fedpol), as well as officials from fedpol dealing with combating trafficking in human beings and representatives of the Federal Department of Foreign Affairs, the Federal Office of Justice, the Federal Office for Customs and Border Security, the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), the Cantonal Conference of Social Affairs, the Cantonal Conference for the Protection of Children and Adults, the Unification of the Cantonal Migration Offices, the Swiss Unification of Judges, and the Swiss Conference of Public Prosecutors. Furthermore, the delegation met with representatives of the Parliamentary Group on Human Trafficking of the Swiss Parliament.
In addition to holding meetings with the federal authorities, GRETA’s delegation met members of the cantonal round-tables against trafficking in human beings (bringing together relevant officials and civil society) in the cantons of Aargau, Geneva, Grisons, Neuchâtel, Valais and Zurich. In Neuchâtel, GRETA also met the Coordination against Trafficking in Human Beings for the Latin Switzerland.
The GRETA delegation held separate meetings with non-governmental organisations, trade unions and lawyers representing victims of human trafficking. It also met representatives of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR).
The visit provided an opportunity to visit three shelters accommodating victims of human trafficking (in Bern, Geneva and Zurich) and to meet victims of human trafficking. The delegation also visited the federal centre for asylum seekers in Altstätten and an accommodation centre for unaccompanied children and asylum seekers in Trimmis (canton of Grisons).
The visit was carried out by Mr Sergey Ghazinyan, Second Vice-President of GRETA, and Ms Rita Penedo, member of GRETA, who were accompanied by Ms Petya Nestorova, Executive Secretary of the Convention, and Ms Asja Zujo of the Secretariat of the Convention.
Following the visit, GRETA will prepare a draft report, which will be sent to the Swiss authorities for comments. GRETA will subsequently adopt a final report which will be published in 2024.
See also: Country monitoring | Switzerland