Rights and obligations

Prostitution is legal in Switzerland, if you obey the rules.

Important: As a tourist you are not allowed to work, also not in prostitution.

As a sex worker you have the right

  • to be treated with respect and courtesy
  • to always demand a condom for sex: your health is at stake, protect yourself!
  • to make the decisions about your own body and services
  • to say no! – your guardian and your client have no right to demand services from you against your will
  • to visit a counseling office

Your duties: You must

  • obey the laws of Switzerland
  • show your papers when there is a control

If you break a regulation and

  • are here without permission, you will be fined and may have to leave Switzerland
  • commit criminal offences, such as drug dealing, theft, causing bodily harm, criminal proceedings will be initiated against you.
    Conviction may result in fines, prison sentences or deportation

Duties of the police

  • to protect victims of crimes such as threats, bodily harm, human trafficking and to make referrals to an advisory office
  • bring charges for all criminal activities, for example, human trafficking and violent crimes
  • Control bar owners regarding punishable activities such as promotion of prostitution
  • Control of identity, residence and work permits

During a control the police may

  • control your papers (pass, residence and work permits)
  • enter the room
  • search you – if there is a suspicion that you have committed a crime.
  • You have the right to be searched by a police woman!
  • arrest you if you don‘t have a work or residence permit
  • take you to the police station if you cannot present an identity card

You have the right

  • to know the name of the officer
  • to refuse your signature if do not agree or understand the document
  • to refuse to make a statement if there is an accusation against you
  • to receive a receipt for the all things the police have taken from you

In the course of a procedure you have the right to

  • an interpreter
  • a lawyer

Your rights as a victim of threats, injury, robbery, rape or human trafficking

  • Free support from the Opferhilfe (psychosocial und legal counseling, immediate financial help, reimbursement and compensation)
  • Medical treatment and protection
  • The right to file a complaint with the police:
    we need your cooperation in order to catch the offenders

You are a victim of human trafficking if, you were brought into Switzerland under false pretences, were forced to do sex work or other work, must pay off debts or referral fees, are being subjected to violence and threats, or have had your money taken from you. Human trafficking is a serious crime against human rights and is prosecuted as a crime in Switzerland.