Humanitarian Diplomacy

Switzerland's humanitarian policy focuses on the protection of civilians in armed conflicts, crises and natural disasters. It aims to make a lasting contribution to preserving and protecting people's dignity and rights, and to meeting their basic needs before, during and after armed conflicts and crises.

Switzerland is working to ensure that the relevant international norms and standards are respected and, where necessary, further developed. To this end it maintains regular dialogue with other states, international organisations, think tanks and non-governmental organisations. Switzerland works at multilateral level and through specific programmes and projects.

Switzerland's humanitarian policy efforts are also aimed at creating favourable conditions for people to exercise their rights, even during an armed conflict, and for humanitarian aid to reach them swiftly. Special attention is paid to the most vulnerable population groups, including women, children and internally displaced persons. The experience gained by Swiss Humanitarian Aid on the ground is fed back into humanitarian policy strategy and concept development.

Protecting the civilian population

The safety of and respect for the rights of civilians – particularly of vulnerable persons – in armed conflicts are priorities of Swiss foreign policy.