Economy January 6, 2016 | 10:52 am

Dominican Republic strippers get Swiss work visas: AFP

Geneva.- More than 700foreign strippers received a special work permit in Switzerland in 2015, takingadvantage for the last time of the controversial program which ended Jan. 1,according to the Federal Migration Office in Bern, AFP reports.

Switzerland started issuing8-month work permits in 1995 to non-European foreign women, many Dominicansamong them, who wanted to go to the country to work as dancers in cabaret or asstrippers.

The program aimed toprotect women who could fall into the hands of pimps; but, after an in-depthinvestigation Swiss authorities said the initiative didn’t fulfill itsfunction, because some license holders were forced into prostitution once they arrivedin Switzerland.

Immigration Office spokespersonLea Wertheimer on Tuesday confirmed that the program was be abolished in 2016.

She said 712 women hadreceived the "stripper visa" in October 2015, compared to 712 in2014.

More than 10,700 peoplehave been issued those permits since 2005.

The dancers hailing fromRussia, Dominican Republic and Thailand most benefited from the visas.

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