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Switzerland: Stolen Childhoods

Kavita Puri goes to Switzerland to hear the extraordinary stories of survivors who lived as indentured child labourers.

Campaigners in Switzerland have launched a petition to pressure parliament to pay compensation to the thousands of children who were sent to work on farms as cheap forced labour. The practice was common up until the 1970s. Many of these verdingkinder, or “contract children” came from poor backgrounds and experienced years of physical and mental abuse.

For Assignment, Kavita Puri goes to Switzerland to hear the extraordinary stories of survivors who lived as indentured child labourers.

Produced by Smita Patel

(Image: Contract children working on farms in Switzerland in the early 1940s. Photograph courtesy of Paul Senn (1901-1953), Bernese Foundation of Photography, Film and Video © Gottfried Keller Foundation, Bern)

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28 minutes

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