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 47

Strengthening regional cooperation on migration in the Western Balkans

01.06.2025 - 31.12.2027

In light of diversifying migration patterns and challenges with increasing regional dimensions, the migration policy priorities of Western Balkan governments are changing and the relevance of regional dialogue, coordination and cooperation is growing. This proposal seeks to promote coherent and effective regional governance of migration in all its multifaceted dimensions contributing to greater social cohesion and regional integration in the Western Balkans.


Ashshash: for men and women who have escaped trafficking

01.04.2023 - 31.03.2027

20,000 people (of whom 70% women) who have experienced trafficking will be economically and socially rehabilitated. Public and private institutions will provide employment or in-kind support for entrepreneurship to men and women who have escaped trafficking. The Government will better address the prevention of trafficking, protection of victims, prosecution of traffickers in the revision and enacting of policies, and create partnerships, for bringing about systemic changes.


Strengthening Systems of Secondary Cities

01.05.2022 - 30.04.2026

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. 


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

01.01.2022 - 31.08.2027

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 migration governance capacities so as to enable the organisation to effectively implement regional, continental and global regulatory standards for the protection of refugees and vulnerable migrants in the region.


International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS)

01.12.2021 - 30.11.2024

When recruitment is fair and ethical, it benefits migrant workers, employers, as well as governments in countries of origin and destination. Switzerland partners with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) on the consolidation of the International Recruitment Integrity System (IRIS), a global initiative to promote ethical international recruitments that engages different actors. Engaging with the private sector will be at the center of this phase. 


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

01.12.2021 - 30.11.2024

In Egypt, Community Based Organisations (CBOs) are key actors in responding to migrants and forcibly displaced persons’ basic needs especially amid COVID 19 pandemic. Building on lessons learnt from the first phase, CBOs will be further empowered to become more financially sustainable in order to continue providing quality services and advocate for migrants and forcibly displaced persons’ needs and rights in the donor community and with decision makers. 


Financing Durable Solutions Programme for Forcibly Displaced People (FDSI)

01.10.2021 - 31.12.2025

Through an innovative approach, Switzerland will mobilize the private sector and municipalities to contribute to durable solutions for displacement-affected communities in the Horn of Africa. Forcibly displaced persons and their host communities will benefit from enhanced self-reliance and increased socioeconomic inclusion. The initiative operationalises the strategic link between migration policy and international cooperation and further strengthens Switzerland’s profile as a pioneer in the search for durable solutions.


Supporting the operationalisation of the temporary reception center for migrants Lipa

01.10.2021 - 30.06.2022

Migrant reception centres in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) do not have sufficient capacities; more than a thousand migrants are without shelter. They squat in empty houses and forests, leading to tensions with the surrounding local communities. Switzerland contributes to international efforts to support the BiH government in providing decent reception capacities for 1,500 people in Una-Sana canton, where most of the migrants are stranded. This helps to improve the authorities’ capacity to manage migration and to reduce conflict potential.


SKYE - Skills Development for Youth Employment

01.09.2021 - 31.08.2023

Over 43% of the potential working population in Nigeria is either unemployed or underemployed and Edo State’s employment rate recently dropped below the national average. Edo also constitutes an important source of irregular migration as well as the epicenter of human trafficking in the country. Through its contribution to the SKYE program, Switzerland aims to improve the range of active labor market measures by building capacities within the institutions delivering job-matching services and professional training.


Supporting the Security Sector Reform (SSR) Process in The Gambia

01.07.2021 - 30.06.2024

The Gambia, which is a priority country in regard to Swiss migration interest, initiated a national SSR process in 2017. Based on 3 years of in-depth research and support to this process, in 2021 DCAF launched a new program to enhance the efficiency and effectiveness of the Gambian security sector. Through its contribution, Switzerland aims to improve the quality of services provided to local communities by the immigration department by strengthening its management and accountability.


KFPE - Kommission für Forschungspartnerschaften mit Entwicklungsländern

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2024

Die Kommission für Forschungspartnerschaften mit Entwicklungsländern ist die zentrale Schweizer Informations-, Austausch- und Lernplattform für die Forschungszusammenarbeit im und mit dem globalen Süden. Seit über 25 Jahren fördert sie effiziente, wirksame und gleichberechtigte Nord-Süd Forschungspartnerschaften.  


Financial support to the Programme of Work and Budget of the OECD Development Center 2021-2022

01.01.2021 - 31.12.2022

The Development Center of the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is a policy oriented institution which conducts studies and provides platforms for dialogues and knowledge sharing between OECD and non OECD countries. Switzerland’s support to the Center contributes to the development of inclusive and responsive public policies that foster sustainable and inclusive growth with the objective to reduce poverty and inequalities in emerging and developing economies.  

Object 1 – 12 of 47