International dialogue on migration: Switzerland plays an active role

Filled conference hall with representatives from all over the world.
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) helps develop regional and global approaches to forced displacement and migration in multilateral dialogue platforms. © SDC

The challenges linked to forced displacement and migration require a coordinated response from the international community that goes beyond individual country measures. That is why Switzerland is committed to global and regional platforms that enable countries and other stakeholders to engage in dialogue and develop common solutions. Switzerland uses these international platforms to play an active role in developing global standards to improve how migration flows are managed and to reduce human suffering.

The SDC's focus

The SDC advocates for recognition by the international community of the correlation between migration and development. This is based on practical experience from its operational activities, which the SDC seeks to incorporate in global and regional approaches. It aims to improve how migration flows are managed, to reduce the suffering of refugees and migrants, and to make use of the productive contribution migrants can make to the economies and societies of both their country of origin and country of destination.

Migration is closely connected to sustainable economic and social development. Forced displacement and migration often result from a lack of prospects in the person's country of origin. That is why Switzerland's development approach focuses both on the causes of migration in order to provide alternatives to migration as well as on the needs of refugees and migrants, in order to create prospects for people in their country of origin and to strengthen their resilience. Migrants contribute not only to the development of their country of origin but also their country of destination, through regular labour migration and remittances sent back home, for example. In 2017, a total of USD 466 billion was transferred to emerging and developing countries – more than three times the amount of official development aid.

Spreading successful approaches to managing migration

In line with its development policy mandate on migration, the SDC works with governments, local authorities, international organisations, and representatives of civil society, the private sector and the scientific community in its partner countries. Together they develop joint approaches that address the link between migration and development. Here the focus is on creating governmental and social framework conditions to help the international community better manage migration flows and reduce the suffering of refugees and migrants. Such framework conditions also facilitate the contributions of regular migrants to economic and social development. Part of this work involves setting up measures against the exploitation of migrant workers, such as fair and ethical recruitment procedures, compliance with employment rights obligations, and encouraging the diaspora to play an active role in the development of their countries of origin.

Against migrant worker exploitation

By supporting the IOM's project to create a voluntary system of certification for recruitment agencies (IRIS – Integrated Recruitment Integrity System), the SDC encourages the private sector to be included in and take on responsibility for international measures against migrant worker exploitation.

IRIS – Integrated Recruitment Integrity System

The SDC brings these jointly developed, proven approaches into the international dialogue on migration, and incorporates the recommendations from this dialogue in its actual projects. In so doing, the SDC helps to spread effective approaches to migration.

Shaping international platforms for cooperation in migration

Switzerland's solution-oriented and constructive role has enabled it to play a key role in recent years in stimulating and advancing platforms dedicated to the international dialogue on migration. As part of Switzerland’s overall global engagement, the SDC has used its practical experience to play a significant role in developing global approaches.

Including stakeholders in the international dialogue on migration

Migration is a complex phenomenon which requires a variety of actors to work together in order to meet the diverse challenges involved. That is why Switzerland has taken a whole-of-government approach in its migration policy (interdepartmental structure for international cooperation on migration, ICM structure, see Akkordeon).

This makes Switzerland a global role model. In the international dialogue on migration, Switzerland also advocates for the inclusion of such stakeholders – which is not a given in many countries or in inter-state platforms at the global and regional level. That is why the SDC prioritises the inclusion of non-state actors in the dialogue on migration and in international cooperation. Based on Switzerland's principle of subsidiarity, the SDC also advocates the recognition of mayors and other local authorities as additional main stakeholders in terms of cooperation in migration.

Some of the SDC's key implementing partners for its operational projects are the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO). In the area of research, the SDC works with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and supports the World Bank's Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) project, which both carry out research on the interrelation between migration and development.

Background

Global and regional dialogue platforms promote exchange and cooperation on forced displacement and migration between states, and between states and other stakeholders such as international organisations, civil society, the private sector and local authorities. In so doing, the platforms make it possible to devise regional and global approaches based on the diverse experiences of these actors. It is in Switzerland's interests to play an active role in this dialogue so as to assert its concerns in terms of migration policy and bring its experience into the process. Thanks to its comprehensive approach to cooperation on migration with other countries (migration partnerships) Switzerland has a particularly high level of legitimacy and credibility for its engagement in the international dialogue on migration.

Migration partnerships

Links

Current projects

Object 1 – 12 of 30

Strengthened and Informative Migration Systems (SIMS) Phase II

01.04.2024 - 31.03.2029

Switzerland is interested in ensuring that international migration is regular, secure, respects human dignity and the rights of migrants. The project will institutionalise well tested awareness mechanisms on the perils of irregular migration and enhance further public and private capacities to deliver services to potential migrants. The intervention contributes to Switzerland’s dialogue on safe, orderly and regular migration at national and global levels.


REG: Core Contribution to the RCC

15.10.2023 - 31.12.2026

The Regional Cooperation Council was officially launched in 2008 as the successor to the Stability Pact for South Eastern Europe. The Berlin Process in 2014 gave a new impetus to the regional cooperation and positioned the Council as a medium for communication between the Western Balkan and the EU. It represents an important tool for fostering the stability in the region by bringing together 46 countries, international organisations and banks, mainly from the EU, South East Europe and Western Balkans. 


Venezuela Humanitarian Fund (VHF) – Country-based Pooled Fund (CBPF)

01.10.2023 - 31.12.2025

The Venezuela Humanitarian Fund (VHF) is part of multilateral contributions for a Country based Pooled Fund (CBPF) that mobilizes and channels resources to humanitarian partners to respond to the humanitarian needs in Venezuela. The Fund operates within the parameters of the Humanitarian Response Plan (HRP), with the objective of expanding the delivery of humanitarian assistance by focusing on critical priorities and needs.


MiRiDew - Migrant Rights and Decent Work

01.07.2023 - 31.12.2026

Remittances sent home by over 4 million migrant workers have significantly contributed to the economic development of Nepal. The proposed project will enhance the capacities of the Government of Nepal and strengthen mechanisms to better protect the rights of workers abroad. There will be a special focus on women’s need and the adverse effects of climate change exacerbating the vulnerability of migrants. The project capitalises on Switzerland’s longstanding engagement on labour migration in Nepal.


Global solutions for migration-related challenges

01.06.2023 - 31.12.2026

Switzerland has a strong interest in multilateral migration processes that are inclusive and that take into account local actors, in particular migrant (women) voices, to foster an enabling environment for migrants to effectively contribute to sustainable development. Switzerland supports multi-stakeholder involvement in global processes on migration and pilots innovative, locally-led solutions that are brought to the global level.


Ashshash – for men and women who have escaped trafficking

01.06.2023 - 31.05.2027

Switzerland has an interest in ensuring that international migration is regular, secure, and respects human dignity and the rights of migrants. The programme will support men and women who have escaped trafficking to reintegrate into society, raise awareness on the perils of irregular migration and improve public and private capacities to deliver services to victims of trafficking. The intervention contributes to Switzerland’s political dialogue on safe, orderly and regular migration at the global level.


Réinsertion des détenu.e.s en Algérie

01.04.2023 - 31.12.2026

Le projet « Réinsertion des détenu.e.s en Algérie » contribue à la promotion de la réinsertion des détenu.e.s les plus vulnérables dans le tissu social algérien, dans un but déclaré de renforcer la cohésion sociale, une priorité pour le gouvernement. Le projet propose un accompagnement à la Direction Générale de l’Administration Pénitentiaire et de la Réinsertion (DGAPR) pour la modernisation et l’optimisation de la prise en charge et de la formation des détenu.e.s, dans le but de faciliter leur réinsertion sociale.


Support to the Programme of Work and Budget of the OECD Development Center 2023 - 2024

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2024

The Development Center (DEV) of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) is a policy-oriented institution which conducts studies and provides platforms for dialogues and knowledge sharing between OECD and non OECD countries. Switzerland’s contribution to DEV is an investment towards sustainable policy development and reforms as the expertise provided by the DEV brings developing countries closer to relevant OECD standards.


Program Contribution for Fondation Terre des hommes 2023-2024

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2024

The program of the Terre des hommes Foundation (TdhF) aims to sustainably reduce child mortality and morbidity and to secure access to health, sanitation and clean water for mothers and children (0-18 years) in severe poverty. Children in contexts of migration, conflict and disasters, and child victims of violence are better protected. International standards in child-friendly justice are promoted. Humanitarian interventions in fragile contexts, combined with poverty reduction and sustainable development are promoted through innovative work with children and youths.


Venezuela, IMPACT/REACH: Regional Information Management Support to the humanitarian response in Venezuela and to the Venezuelan crisis response within Colombia, Ecuador and Peru.

01.01.2023 - 31.12.2024

Limited access to official data and restrictions on publishing data related to the humanitarian needs remain as a challenge in Venezuela. With this second phase, IMPACT-REACH will continue to support humanitarian actors in their operational and strategic decision-making through the provision of high quality data about the needs of Venezuelans in Venezuela, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru and, enhance strengthening the coordination in order to make available all information gathered through a variety of assessments made within the four countries.


TdH Hemayah

01.12.2022 - 30.11.2025

Egypt is a destination country for migrants and forcibly displaced persons facing challenging humanitarian conditions and limited prospects for integration. Switzerland will contribute to the “Hemayah/Protection” project implemented by Terre des Hommes to improve survival, protection, self-reliance, and wellbeing of migrants and forcibly displaced persons from marginalized communities. The project will provide comprehensive services and opportunities for skills development and socioeconomic integration through a sustainable community based approach.


Strengthening Systems of Secondary Cities

01.05.2022 - 31.10.2026

Rooted in the Swiss principle of subsidiarity the programme will enable local government authorities in secondary cities affected by migration and forced displacement to engage with key stakeholders, including the private sector, to consolidate their urban planning and management skills while securing access to financial and technical resources. It will further strengthen cities’ advocacy capacities to make their voices heard in national, regional and multilateral dialogues with a view to disseminate and learn about best practices on migrants’ integration. 

Object 1 – 12 of 30