Evangelical party in Switzerland raises awareness about “tacitly accepted” labour exploitation
The Evangelical People’s Party calls to “consider labour exploitation as a separate offense” in the Penal Code to protect migrants and other vulnerable people.
BERN · 06 JULY 2020 · 12:34 CET
The Swiss Evangelical People's Party (EVP) has presented a motion to the Federal Council, asking to include labour exploitation as a criminal offense in the Penal Code.
“Labour exploitation has become, in certain sectors in Switzerland, a lucrative and tacitly accepted reality with many cases not listed”, Marianne Streiff, President of EVP, pointed out.
According to Streiff, “the current Penal Code is very far from reality. It does not take into account a significant part of real operating situations, specially the cases in the gastronomy, agriculture, construction sectors, as well as in private care or the home economy”.
Labour exploitation as a criminal offense
“Today, it is no longer necessary to resort to violence in order to induce them [migrants] to engage in abusive working conditions. The terrible economic despair in their country of origin is generally enough for them to work voluntarily for a salary which rarely corresponds to one tenth of the minimum wage, and often in precarious working conditions”, she said.
The prolem is that “recruitment is not necessary and therefore the accusation of exploitation of human beings (art.182 of the Swwiss Penal Code) cannot be argued”, the EVP President explained.
That is why, "a separate offense for labour exploitation thwarts this unfortunate trivialisation, and it contributes to recognise this exploitation similar to slavery as an injustice. It also clearly indicates that Switzerland does not tolerate any exploitation”, Streiff underlined.
Marianne Streiff, President of EVP, / Facebook Nationalrätin Marianne Streiff.
“It facilitates the investigative work and the presentation of evidence”
The political party with an evangelical wordlview adds that “a clearly defined criminal offense also facilitates the investigative work and the presentation of evidences. If well designed, it also promotes cooperation among victims in the prosecution of those responsible”.
The party, which has three deputies in the Swiss Parliament, had already presented an interpelation regarding this issue in the Federal Assembly in 2018.
“It is not a matter of criminalising low wages or sectors where wage pressures are high. A criminal offense must be adapted to the working relationships for which the authors enrich themselves on the back of a largely underpaid work”, they concluded.