Switzerland promotes human rights, the rule of law and access to justice

Young women receive information leaflets in a pedestrian area.
In Tajikistan, a project is helping to facilitate access to information and services for women, young people and children in order to protect their rights and prevent domestic violence. © SDC

Goal 16 of the 2030 Agenda focuses on questions of justice, human rights, the rule of law, anti-corruption and illicit financial flows.  The SDG 16+ approach widens the focus to include aspects such as access to education, human rights education, gender equality and non-discrimination, labour rights, the right to equality and equal opportunities policies.

Switzerland helps foster just societies in partner countries such as Afghanistan, Honduras, Laos, Mozambique and Rwanda by conducting programmes dedicated to human rights and access to justice. Switzerland is also committed to fighting corruption, which acts as a barrier to development and impedes the sustainability of interventions.

Promoting human rights

As well as standing in the way of development, human rights violations can also be the cause or consequence of violent conflict, which in turn threatens development outcomes. Strengthening human rights thus plays a key role in the work of the SDC. The SDC reinforces human rights by adopting a human rights-based approach, using international human rights standards and principles as a guide: indivisibility, universality, non-discrimination, participation, transparency, accountability and the rule of law. Applying this human rights-based approach means framing the observance of human rights, and a life in dignity, peace and security, as a development cooperation goal.

The human rights-based approach involves putting people, their rights and duties at the centre of development cooperation instead of focusing on their imminent needs. The aim is to develop the capacity of duty-bearers (usually state institutions, but may also include non-state actors) to meet their human rights obligations, and to enhance their accountability. At the same time, rights-holders (everyone to whom the rights in question apply) are also given support. Knowing their rights encourages people to claim them and to take part in public life as active and responsible citizens. Examples of ways in which the SDC strengthens the capacity of rights-holders include its support for civil society actors such as the media, as in Tanzania, or non-governmental organisations that advocate for human rights issues on behalf of citizens and hold duty-bearers to account, as in Honduras.

Promoting the rule of law and access to justice

A fully functioning rule of law lays the foundations for peaceful co-existence within a society. A human rights-based justice system that is openly accessible, protects people’s rights and investigates, prosecutes and punishes wrongdoing is an important cornerstone of any state governed by the rule of law.

Goal 16 of the 2030 Agenda, which promotes peace, justice and inclusive institutions, reflects this. Switzerland plays its part in implementing Goal 16 through its development-policy commitment to the rule of law and access to justice.

By engaging in a close dialogue with its partner countries and carefully analysing the given context, the SDC is able to identify what contribution it needs to make to national, formal and informal justice systems to enable the relevant actors to work efficiently and transparently on behalf of the citizens they serve. The SDC’s programmes in support of the justice sector aim to give as wide a section of the population as possible access to a well-functioning, efficient justice system that respects human rights. People should be able to trust in this system and know that it will protect their rights.

The practical approaches adopted by the SDC in this area can generally be divided into four categories:

  1. Assistance in drafting and implementing new legislation. For example, this could mean supporting state and non-state actors in implementing stricter laws on violence against women, as in Bolivia.
  2. Reforming the judiciary, for example training judges in Bhutan and strengthening judicial independence in Ukraine.
  3. Access to justice, for example improving access to justice by disadvantaged groups in Afghanistan.
  4. Organisational support for programmes focusing on actors that play a role in the justice system, such as the reform of the security sector and police force in Tunisia and Honduras.

Documents

Current projects

Object 1 – 12 of 1099

Improving farm productivity in Georgia through dual vocational education and training

Three people in a greenhouse.

01.09.2018 - 31.08.2022

Agriculture is Georgia's most important sector. However, farming remains uncompetitive as farmers' skills are out of step with the job market and technological developments. Switzerland is continuing to support vocational education and training to improve productivity, farm income and the employment situation for students of agriculture.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Georgia
Vocational training
Agriculture & food security
Employment & economic development
Vocational training
Agricultural services & market
Rural development
EDUCATION
AGRICULTURE
OTHER MULTISECTOR
Vocational training
Agricultural services
Rural development

01.09.2018 - 31.08.2022


CHF 6'352'000



Capacity building for Serbian municipalities

Around 50 parliamentarians in session at the Serbian parliament.

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021

Switzerland is supporting the Serbian government’s public administration reform, which aims to make it more effective and accessible to both citizens and the private sector. SwissPRO project is being run in 99 municipalities (two-thirds of Serbia) to improve good governance, social inclusion and gender equality.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Serbia
Governance
Human rights
Gender
Decentralisation
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Women’s equality organisations and institutions
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Decentralisation and support to subnational government (incl. accountability)
Human rights
Women's equality organisations and institutions

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021


CHF 7'000'000



Decentralization and Municipal Support in Kosovo (DEMOS)

Two young people rollerblading on a cycle path..

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021

Since the declaration of independence in 2008, Kosovo has been engaged in the reform and decentralisation of its public authorities with the aim of strengthening autonomy and local democracy in its 38 municipalities. The SDC's “Decentralisation and Municipal Support” project (DEMOS) aims to help municipalities enhance democratic governance and municipal management and provide better public services, thereby supporting Kosovo in its transition to a democratic and decentralised state.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Kosovo
Governance
Decentralisation
Democratic participation and civil society
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Decentralisation and support to subnational government (incl. accountability)
Democratic participation and civil society

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021


CHF 12'800'000



Mozambique: Less illness thanks to better water supplies and sanitation

A villager in Niassa Province in northern Mozambique works a new handpump. She is surrounded by a group of people.

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021

Many cases of illness in the poor region of northern Mozambique are caused by the poor condition of water supplies and sanitation.  The SDC is assisting the efforts of the local people and responsible authorities to improve the situation. Aim of the project: Better living conditions for half a million people – and less poverty.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Mozambique
Health
Health systems strengthening
HEALTH
Health policy and administrative management

01.01.2018 - 31.12.2021


CHF 7'445'000



Bosnia and Herzegovina: Improving nursing care for better health services

A nurse sitting in a treatment room.

01.12.2017 - 30.11.2021

In Bosnia and Herzegovina nurses make up the largest group of healthcare professionals. However, the potential offered by their proximity to local communities is underexploited. They are often responsible for administrative tasks rather than patient care and, with limited career prospects, many nurses are attracted by better working conditions in Western Europe. This is regrettable because nurses and the care they provide can be a gateway to better health services for people living in rural areas and marginalised communities.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Bosnia and Herzegovina
Health
Education
Health systems strengthening
Primary health care
Education facilities and training
HEALTH
HEALTH
EDUCATION
Health policy and administrative management
Basic health care
Education facilities and training

01.12.2017 - 30.11.2021


CHF 5'125'000



Improved Access to Markets for Female and Male Fresh Fruits and Vegetable (FFV) Small Scale Producers

Improved access to markets for fresh fruits and vegetable (FFV) small scale producers (men and women), occupied Palestinian territory

01.12.2017 - 30.11.2021

With focus on private sector-led agriculture and agribusiness, this program pursues systemic change in the agriculture sector and supports business modalities that favor small scale producers in the occupied Palestinian territory. The overall goal is to contribute to build a resilient economy with equitable agricultural growth, whilst contributing to protect small scale producers’ entitlements to natural resources and access to markets.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Palestinian Authority
Agriculture & food security
Agricultural development
Agricultural services & market
Agricultural policy
AGRICULTURE
AGRICULTURE
AGRICULTURE
Agricultural development
Agricultural services
Agricultural policy and administrative management

01.12.2017 - 30.11.2021


CHF 3'900'000



Revitalising labour market in Moldova

Two young women checking cables.

01.12.2017 - 31.12.2021

With Moldova facing high unemployment and a slowdown in growth, the SDC is funding a project designed to offer young job seekers alternatives to emigration and to improve the country's economic situation. Switzerland is supporting reforms aimed at training a qualified workforce and improving the investment climate. This will not only promote demand-driven training but also help create new jobs in the private sector.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Moldova
Vocational training
Vocational training
EDUCATION
Vocational training

01.12.2017 - 31.12.2021


CHF 5'350'000



Reducing youth unemployment in Kosovo with the help of the private sector

Two people on an adventure park ropes course.

16.11.2017 - 15.11.2021

The Promoting Private Sector Employment (PPSE) project is strengthening companies in the food and tourism sectors and spurring job creation in Kosovo.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Kosovo
Employment & economic development
SME development
INDUSTRY, MINING, CONSTRUCTION
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) development

16.11.2017 - 15.11.2021


CHF 7'320'000



A more inclusive job market for women in the South Caucasus

A women reads information

01.11.2017 - 31.07.2021

In the three countries of the South Caucasus (Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia), many women face job market discrimination. In the absence of policy to create equal opportunities and jobs for women in the formal economy, women work unprotected in the informal sector. The Women’s Economic Empowerment in the South Caucasus project seeks to promote women's economic empowerment to facilitate their equal access to employment and entrepreneurial opportunities.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
South Caucasus
Gender
Vocational training
Women’s equality organisations and institutions
Vocational training
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
EDUCATION
Women's equality organisations and institutions
Vocational training

01.11.2017 - 31.07.2021


CHF 3'400'000



A toolbox for sustainable sefl-reliance

Workers learn how to build stable houses in cyclone-affected Southwestern Haiti.

06.09.2017 - 30.06.2021

Haiti has been repeatedly devastated by earthquakes and hurricanes in recent years. SDC engineers are now working with those affected to build more stable houses from local materials. Five hundred new homes are to be built by 2021.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Haiti
Climate change and environment
Vocational training
Governance
Disaster risk reduction DRR
Vocational training
Public sector policy
DISASTER PREVENTION AND PREPAREDNESS
EDUCATION
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Disaster prevention and preparedness
Vocational training
Public sector policy and administrative management

06.09.2017 - 30.06.2021


CHF 3'423'500



Support to Municipal Development Project (MDP-3)

Support to municipal development project (MDP-3), occupied Palestinian territory

01.09.2017 - 31.12.2021

Since 2009, the Municipal Development Project (MDP) has been the main vehicle for policy reform in the Local Governance sector in the oPt. It has channelled funding to Municipalities to support infrastructure projects and capacity-building activities in a transparent and equitable manner, despite huge challenges linked to 50 years of Israeli Occupation and to 10 years of intra-Palestinian divide. MDP-3 (2017-2021) is supported by 7 donors and the Palestinian Authority: SDC’s contribution is in line with Swiss Cooperation Strategy for the oPt (2015-2018).

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Palestinian Authority
Governance
Decentralisation
Democratic participation and civil society
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
GOVERNMENT AND CIVIL SOCIETY
Decentralisation and support to subnational government (incl. accountability)
Democratic participation and civil society

01.09.2017 - 31.12.2021


CHF 5'300'000



Water and Sanitation for Syrian Refugees and Their Lebanese Hosts

a 1000 litre water tank

15.07.2017 - 15.06.2020

The crisis in Syria has a significant impact in Lebanon. The country is home to over one million Syrian refugees. Basic needs are unmet due to this unprecedented population growth and lack of public facilities. The SDC supports a project of the Lebanese Red Cross on water and sanitation for Syrian refugees and host communities in the Akkar Governorate bordering Syria.

Country/region Period Budget
Lebanon

15.07.2017 - 15.06.2020


CHF 1'100'000


Object 1 – 12 of 1099