Millions of people leave their homes in search of safety, employment and a better future. Switzerland supports efforts to harness migration as a way of promoting development and to alleviate migratory pressure by creating prospects locally.
2016 was characterised by large refugee movements and migratory flows. For many people, the uncertainty involved in fleeing is a lesser evil than the dangers they are exposed to at home: armed conflict, violent extremism, human rights abuses, state fragility, poverty and a lack of prospects. These people often have no other choice but to leave their homes with the few possessions they are able to carry. According to United Nations estimates, more than half of refugees are children and young people, and over 85% are currently living in developing and emerging countries.
The major waves of refugees and migrants pose a significant challenge to Switzerland, too, both in terms of migration and asylum policy and development policy. The Swiss Parliament therefore decided that in implementing the new Dispatch 2017-2020, international cooperation should be more closely linked up with Switzerland’s migration interests. For the SDC, this means that it will be more active in migrants’ countries of origin and will work in a more targeted way to tackle the root causes of migration. SECO will also continue its efforts in its partner countries to facilitate sustainable and inclusive growth, to create jobs and therefore to offer people the chance of a brighter future in their home countries.