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FIZ Makasi is the only specialized center in Switzerland for women who are victims of trafficking.

Specialized Intervention

Women who are affected by trafficking require tailored services due to their precarious situation and the serious trauma they have often experienced. Recruited under false pretenses by traffickers in a foreign country, women are brought to Switzerland and exploited as sex-trade workers, cabaret dancers or in other tenuous work positions, such as in domestic work, childcare or in the food service industry. Often without the benefit of a residency permit, money or a social net, they are vulnerable to traffickers, pimps and employers. They are pressured in a variety of ways, coerced and intimidated, and are to some extent traumatized, often profoundly. Makasi offers these women comprehensive support, regardless of whether they file criminal charges against the offender or not. FIZ Makasi assists women who denounce the perpetrators up to their court proceedings.

The Victims of Crime Act (Article 9 VCA) and other statutes constitute the basis of all counseling and assistance for survivors of women trafficking. All consultation services are confidential and free of charge for victims. Apart from trafficked women, FIZ also counsels individuals in a similar situation, such as confidants or family members.

It is essential for staff providing counseling and assistance services to have specialized knowledge of the situation in each survivor's home country. It is also central for them to understand the recruitment and exploitation methods used to traffic women, as well as the political and legal reality in Switzerland.

Basic Approach

Victims of human trafficking suffer profound violations of their basic rights. They experience not only sexual, physical and/or psychological violence, but often structural constraints as well. Makasi helps them regain control of their lives and supports them in rediscovering their strengths, their decision-making abilities and their capacity to act.

Respect and tolerance are core values in counseling. Each woman’s resources and coping strategies, their inner strength and will power, must be recognized and put to use. The relationship with the client takes place on equal footing. The client is the decision maker and the protagonist who is supported in her decision-making by the counselor. Actions are mutually discussed. She is empowered and understands the situation she is in.

Empathy, solidarity and a holistic approach are the foundation of our counseling work. As a matter of principal, we are on the side of the women, regardless of their skin color, origin, religion or social status. We support all steps toward autonomy and self-determination.