Paedophile crime

The law in Switzerland

Sexual acts with children are prohibited in Switzerland under Article 187 of the Swiss Criminal Code (SCC). Further articles of the law may also apply, for example Article 189 SCC (sexual assault) or Article 190 SCC (rape), depending on the severity of the offence.

The role of fedpol

The cantons are responsible for prosecuting paedophile crime. They are supported in this task by fedpol:

  • fedpol is a member of NEDIK, a network that supports the investigation of digital crime. The network was established in 2018 by the Conference of Cantonal Police Commanders of Switzerland (CCPCS) and plays a coordinating role in the fight against digital crime. Its tasks include ensuring the transfer of knowledge and exchange of best practices as well as compiling a national case overview. Within the network, fedpol plays a coordinating role between the cantons and Switzerland’s international partners, Europol and INTERPOL.
  • fedpol’s tasks include processing and triaging reports from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC). The NCMEC is a non-profit organisation that was founded in the USA in 1984. Its primary objective is to prevent the sexual exploitation of children and to find missing children. When fedpol receives a report of suspicious activity from the NCMEC, it examines the report in detail and forwards the file to the appropriate cantonal police service if the suspicion is substantiated. One such case is featured in the fedpol 2022 Annual Report.
  • fedpol operates the national hash database, which allows the automatic identification of known images, and compiles analysis reports on digital crime. It also represents Switzerland in international expert groups such as Europol’s Victim Identification Taskforce or its Trace an Object campaign, which calls on members of the public to help identify objects from the background of an image with sexually explicit material involving children.
  • fedpol is the single point of contact for identifying victims in INTERPOL’s International Child Sexual Exploitation database.

You can report websites or online images containing sexual pictures of children or illegal pornography (i.e. images of sexual acts with children or animals or of sexual violence among adults) here:

Note: Any person who saves or distributes images or videos containing illegal pornography is liable to prosecution. We therefore advise you to use the above-mentioned form.

Sexual abuse of children abroad

People who travel abroad with the intention of sexually abusing children exploit the differences in the law enforcement system of the country in question and Switzerland. They often also abuse the child’s trust, capitalise on poverty and exploit social weaknesses among the local population.


Last modification 26.10.2023

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