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 13 – 24 of 40

Ethiopia, IOM - Durable Solutions

10.12.2018 - 30.06.2020

Ethiopia has about 2.1 million internally displaced people (IDPs) mainly due to conflict, drought and flood. Addressing the needs of IDPs has been limited to meeting their short-term humanitarian needs. Given the prolonged economic, social, and gender impacts of displacement on individuals, there is a critical need for longer-term solutions. Switzerland will contribute through IOM to address the long-term needs of the displaced and host communities in their search for self-sufficiency.


Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD)

01.12.2018 - 31.08.2024

Migration is one of the 21st century’s defining features that significantly impacts economic and social development. It is thus crucial to ensure that the positive effects of migration on development are maximized, while the negative ones minimized. This is only possible if reliable evidence on migration and its interrelations with development is available. KNOMAD generates ground-breaking research and policy recommendations in the field of M&D. Switzerland has taken a lead in building-up KNOMAD as a pioneering knowledge initiative.


Egyptian Red Crescent: Providing primary health care services to migrants and Egyptians in Greater Cairo

01.12.2018 - 30.11.2020

Access to public primary health care for migrants and Egyptians is a serious challenge. By the means of two “Mobile Clinics”, the project will answer to immediate medical needs of migrants and Egyptians in Greater Cairo. Advocacy on protection and health issues among decision makers will contribute to filling the gaps in service delivery. Thanks to its experience and ongoing engagement in health and protection in Egypt, Switzerland is well placed to provide early recovery and self-resilience interventions.


Africa-Europe Diaspora Development Platform (ADEPT)

01.12.2018 - 31.12.2021

Africa and Europe are intrinsically linked with respect to migration. Swiss support to the pioneering Africa-Europe Diaspora Development Platform (ADEPT) contributes to strengthening the capacities of African Diaspora Development Organisations based in Europe, including in Switzerland, to promote sustained development in Africa. As ADEPT and its members are active throughout the African continent, a support to the platform allows an outreach in Africa with a relatively limited financial investment.


Swiss Civil Society Organizations Platform on Migration and Development

01.11.2018 - 31.10.2021

Obtaining a coherent and practical Swiss foreign policy on migration (acknowledging the potential of migration for development) depends on the close collaboration between Swiss officials, civil society organisations and the private sector. In its second phase, the project “Swiss CSO Platform on Migration and Development” will contribute to shaping a constructive narrative on Migration and Development, while further strengthening the Swiss Civil Society’s contribution towards the Agenda 2030 and the implementation of the Global Compact for Migration (GCM)/Global Compact on Refugees (GCR). 


Fair Recruitment and Labour Conditions of Migrant Workers

01.10.2018 - 31.10.2021

Many of the 105 million people working outside their countries of origin have fallen victim of exploitative practices by unethical recruiters and employers. This project aims to prevent abuses and exploitation of migrant workers. It responds to a demand by the private sector in the global North for ethical standards throughout their supply chains. The Swiss private sector will benefit from stricter standards of recruitment and decent work, while Swiss consumers will profit from consumer goods increasingly produced under fair and ethical standards.


Appui à la résilience de l’élevage pastoral en Afrique de l’Ouest

01.10.2018 - 30.09.2021

L’Afrique de l’Ouest connait une crise alimentaire qui touche environ 10 millions de personnes dont beaucoup d’éleveurs. Les plans de réponse des Etats et des institutions régionales ne mettent pas assez l’accent sur les éleveurs. Ce programme fournira une aide d’urgence à 174’240 éleveurs vulnérables de la région et améliorera les outils de distribution de l’aide dans les mécanismes régionaux et nationaux de gestion de crises alimentaire. Il réduira les conflits, en limitant les transhumances précoces.


Building Regional and National capacities for improved Migration Governance in the IGAD Region

01.10.2018 - 31.12.2021

The Horn of Africa is of high interest for Switzerland in terms of migration policy. Swiss support to the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) and its Member States will contribute to improve their capacities to manage migration. Migrants and refugees will be better protected in the region and the contribution of migration to development of the Horn of Africa will be supported, hence stability promoted. The Swiss expertise and engagement at the policy level will contribute to foster a dialogue on migration between Switzerland and the Horn of Africa.


Blue Peace Financing: transboundary, multisectoral and transgenerational investments

01.10.2018 - 30.06.2023

To achieve the Sustainable Development Goals government efforts do not suffice, additional private capital deployed towards sustainable development are needed. Blue Peace advocates for investments to be re-directed to two levels: transboundary entities and to municipalities. This will have a transformative impact. As a door opener, Switzerland through its partnership with UNCDF contributes to the development of innovative financial products that enable transboundary, multisectoral and transgenerational investments leading to sustainable development and peace.


Migrant Rights and Decent Work (MiriDew)

01.09.2018 - 31.08.2021

Remittances sent home by over 3 million Nepali migrant workers have significantly reduced poverty. Nevertheless, the rights of migrants are regularly violated. The proposed project will enhance the Government of Nepal’s understanding of overseas labour market conditions and strengthen mechanisms to better protect the rights of Nepali workers at home and abroad through better consular support and a strong presence in the international policy dialogue.


Strengthened and Informative Migration Systems (SIMS)

16.08.2018 - 14.12.2023

Labour migration remains a key driver for development in Bangladesh. The present project strengthens the socio-economic development of the country by providing better life perspectives for migrant workers. It enables migrant workers and their families to take informed decisions towards a productive and safe migration experience with reduced social costs. This supports implementation of the parliamentary mandate to better link Swiss migration policy with international cooperation.


Strengthening the capacities of Community-Based Organisations (CBOs) serving migrants in Egypt

15.04.2018 - 30.11.2021

In Egypt, Community Based Organisations (CBOs) are key actors in responding to migrant’s[1] basic needs. These include child and adult education, emergency assistance, medical and legal services. The project strengthens the ability of these organisations to provide these much-needed services. Moreover, CBOs will be empowered to advocate for migrant’s needs in the donor community and with decision makers. Reliable and sustainable services for migrants in Egypt also serve the migration interests of Switzerland.

 

[1]  The term migrant in this proposal includes refugees, asylum seekers, new arrivals in the “pre-refugee status determination phase”, (all nationalities identified by UNHCR) and vulnerable migrants (irregular and regular) residing in Egypt.

 

Object 13 – 24 of 40