Compulsory social measures

Were you the victim of a compulsory social measure prior to 1981? Or were you exploited and abused as a contract child? Your cantonal contact point will listen to you if you wish to talk about your traumatic experiences. And it helps you to apply for a solidarity contribution.

Titelbild - Compulsory social measures

You are the victim of a compulsory social measure or a placement if, for example:

  • You were placed in “administrative detention” without a court order.
  • You were exploited or abused as a contract child.
  • You were abused as an orphan or child placed in care.
  • You were pressured to give up your child and put it up for adoption.
  • You were sterilised or forced to have an abortion against your will or without your knowledge.

In each of these cases, you are entitled to assistance and a solidarity contribution. The prerequisite for this is that the compulsory social measure or placement were ordered prior to 1981. The solidarity contribution is a gesture of recognition by society that you have suffered an injustice.

Would you like to tell your story to someone? Or would you like to make an application for a solidarity contribution and need help? Then your cantonal contact point – usually the cantonal victim support service – is the right place for you.

The service is free of charge and confidential: no one will hear about your story if that is what you want. The people who work for Victim Support Switzerland are professionals in their field.

What can the contact points do for you?

The professionals at the contact points can help you with the following, for example:

  • They will listen to you if you want to talk about your traumatic experiences.
  • They will answer any questions you may have about how to proceed.
  • They will help you to find your files.
  • They will help you to make an application for a solidarity contribution.
  • If necessary, the contact points will put you in touch with other agencies (e.g. authorities or archives).


Federal Office of Justice > solidarity contribution

Federal Office of Justice > Compulsory social measures and placements

Ordinance of 15 February 2017 to the Federal Act on Compulsory Social Measures and Placements prior to 1981.Bundesgesetz über die Aufarbeitung der fürsorgerischen Zwangsmassnahmen und Fremdplatzierungen vor 1981 (not available in English)