Many people are forced to leave their home regions for various economic, political or social reasons. © UN Photo/Martine Perret

A migrant’s life has several facets. Through their work most migrants contribute to developing the prosperity both of their host country and of their country of origin. In the event of conflicts and natural disasters, however, migrants should be regarded as victims, and in this vulnerable situation need special protection. SDC deals with these different aspects of migration. In addition to its work in the field, it actively participates in the political dialogue on this subject. Its commitment can be summarised under the following six headings.

The international political dialogue on migration

The SDC seeks global solutions and takes an active part in structuring the political dialogue on migration and development at the international level.

The fight against human trafficking

SDC helps to prevent trafficking in human beings, protects the victims, and supports countries concerned in their efforts to fight this practice.

Refugees and internally displaced persons

SDC is involved in the protection of refugees and internally displaced persons, and works to meet their basic needs.

The diaspora

The SDC creates favourable framework conditions, promotes exchanges and carries out innovative projects to enable the different migrant communities to contribute to the development of their countries of origin.

Labour migration

SDC helps to ensure that migrants are informed about their rights and enjoy decent working conditions.

Swiss foreign policy on migration

The SDC uses its experience and instruments to contribute to pursuing Switzerland’s migration policy interests within the context of interdepartmental cooperation.

SDC dedicated website on migration

Specialist information (news, documents, instruments, methods) on knowledge exchange and cooperation with partners and experts


Current projects

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Kakuma: Developing vocational skills in a refugee camp

a man repairing a computer in his workshop, watched by six visitors.

01.07.2016 - 30.06.2019

The SDC’s Skills for Life pilot project teaches vocational skills to refugees and residents of Kakuma, to enable them to work and earn a living. More than 580 young people were trained in phase one of this project, which was launched in 2013. Phase two began in summer 2016.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Forced migration (refugees, IDP, human trafficking)
Vocational training and skills development
Protection and access

01.07.2016 - 30.06.2019

CHF 2'050'000

Forging a common ‘Nile culture’ through music and academic training

Nile Project musicians on a boat.

01.05.2015 - 31.07.2017

To make the Nile Basin a common ground and shared ecosystem for the inhabitants of the eleven countries through which the Nile River flows, the SDC supports the innovative musical and educational Nile Project. The project brings together artists, students and concerned citizens. A series of acclaimed concerts has taken place since 2013; at the same time, students are developing initiatives to foster a better use of water resources.

Country/region Topic Period Budget
Economy and Employment
Rule of Law - Democracy - Human rights
Economy and Employment
Disaster Risk Reduction – Preparedness
Education policy
Environment protection
Small and medium-sized enterprises (SME) development
Mitigation of the effects of climate change
Human rights (incl. Women's rights)
Migration generally (development aspects and partnerships)

01.05.2015 - 31.07.2017

CHF 750'000

Fair and ethical recruitment of migrant workers

01.09.2018 - 31.12.2023

Approximately 105 million people are currently working outside their country of origin. Many of these migrant workers have profited from international labour recruitment intermediaries. Millions, however, have become victims of abusive and exploitative practices by unethical recruiters. Working together with different actors, SDC will support initiatives to ensure fair and ethical recruitment. Migrants and their families will be better protected and thereby better enabled to contribute to the development of their countries of origin and destination.

Ashshash: for men and women who have escaped trafficking

01.09.2018 - 28.02.2029

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.

Mainstreaming the Concept of Migration and Development into Strategies, Policies and Actions in Bosnia and Herzegovina: Diaspora for Development (D4D)

05.12.2016 - 30.06.2019

About 2 million BiH citizens reside outside their country of origin. They retain strong connections with their homeland, and many of them are interested in contributing to its development with skills, know-how and financial investment. Switzerland supports BiH (in both entities and Brčko district) in creating a favorable environment for leveraging diaspora’s human and financial capital (as investors, providers of know-how and networkers) for the development of the country, thus contributing to economic growth, employment and income.

Pakistan: UNHCR, Secondment Protection and Solution Officer

01.09.2016 - 31.08.2017

UNHCR Pakistan works with the Government of Pakistan, I/NGOs and donor partners to provide immediate protection and bring long lasting solutions for refugees in Pakistan. Based on international expertise, the SDC Secondment to UNHCR contributes to the enhanced protection of refugees and the search for durable solutions. The Protection Expert will assist the UN Refugee Agency to implement the Solutions Strategy for Afghan Refugees (SSAR) in Pakistan.

Plateforme d'assistance aux migrants dans le Grand Tunis et la région de Sfax

01.07.2016 - 30.06.2018

Les populations migrantes en Tunisie recontrent de nombreuses poblématiques d'ordre juridique, social ou administratif. Le projet prévoit une continuité du service de la "Maison du Droit et des Migrations" à Tunis comme lieu de référence, d'acceuil, d'orientation et d'assistance individualisée aux migrants, avec une expansion géographique à Sfax. Comme complément, le projet développera des partenariats avec le secteur public avec un renforcement de capacité de celui-ci et favorisera l'élaboration, de manière conjointe, d'outil d'acoompagnement au profit des migrants vulnérables. 

DRC: Improve conditions of refugees, asylum seekers and migrants (mixed migrants) and capacities of relevant stakeholders in Libya, including local authorities and civil society

01.07.2016 - 30.06.2017

Fleeing persecution, violence and armed conflict, mixed migrant groups from Sub-Sahara and the Middle East continue to arrive in Libya despite a fragile protection environment. Due to the ongoing instability and the lack of a national protection system, they are highly vulnerable and risk abuse and detention. The project aims to foster a protective environment for mixed migrants in detention centers and camps in and around Tripoli through improved protection and humanitarian assistance.

IOM Information Management & Policy Development for Durable Solutions for IDPs in Ethiopia

01.07.2016 - 31.12.2017

There are over 777’000 Internally Displaced Persons (IDPs) in Ethiopia today. More than half of them are in the Somali Region and are extremely marginalized. Their specific needs are badly known and the vast majority of the humanitarian and development interventions fail to include them in programming. This SDC contribution to the IOM will improve the availability of evidence-based data on IDPs to inform longer term programming, advocacy and policy development needed to devise durable solutions for protracted IDPs in Ethiopia.

UNV for Arauca Field Office

15.06.2016 - 14.07.2017

Over the past five years OCHA improved humanitarian coordination in Colombia through robust information management, coordination mechanism and sound assessments. Regular monitoring enabled OCHA to provide existing coordination mechanisms at both national and local levels with timely and accurate information and analyses, therefore increasing the quality of decision making processes directed towards humanitarian action and humanitarian response. It is noteworthy that the role of international humanitarian actors in Colombia is to complement and enhance state and governmental response efforts. However, there are constraints to be surpassed aimed at complementing institutions through better coordination.

UNHCR, Protection Secondment, Yangon

01.06.2016 - 30.07.2017

The conflict in Kachin State broke out in mid-2011 and has left approximately 100,000 people displaced across Kachin and northern Shan States to date. UNHCR operates as part of the inter-agency humanitarian response mechanism in these areas; its main interventions include protection monitoring and support, shelter construction and renovation, support to camp management, and inter-agency coordination on behalf of the Cluster/Sector which includes the information management with the different stakeholders.

UNHCR, Protection Secondment

01.06.2016 - 30.07.2017

As the lead agency for the Protection Sector, UNHCR facilitates the coordination of the humanitarian response with primary attention to the situations in Rakhine and Kachin/northern Shan. Initiatives include protection mainstreaming, support to community-based protection groups, psycho-social support for women, and the development of referral pathways and protection assessment tools.

Currently UNHCR Myanmar deploys Coordinators for the Protection as well as Shelter / Non-food items (NFI) / Camp Coordination & Camp Management (CCCM) Clusters who lead the coordination activities at the national level. The proposed position of the SDC/SHA Secondment (Field Officer Coordination) will assist the two coordinators with their respective day-to-day work.

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