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
Material relief assistance and services
Vocational training
Human rights

01.07.2016 - 30.06.2019

CHF 2'050'000

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. 

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.

Rehabiltiation of public schools accomodating Syrian refugee children

01.04.2016 - 31.07.2019

Education is one of the public sectors particularly under pressure due to the influx of refugees. There are currently 143,000 school-aged Syrian refugees enrolled in public schools in Jordan, another approx. 83,000 remain out of school. Overstretched infrastructure and lack of space are major challenges. SDC will continue to support the Ministry of Education (MoE) in non-structural rehabilitation of schools accommodating Syrian refugees, including water and sanitation facilities, contributing to increase the accommodating capacities. The project will also include an awareness component addressing maintenance issues.

Migration Network Activities

01.03.2016 - 30.06.2020

The SDC Migration network provides the platform to share knowledge and experience on programmes, efforts and global developments in the field of migration and development at operational and policy dialogue level. It constitutes the framework to support activities contributing to the different network components, hence contributing to increase sharing of knowledge and enhanced connections among stakeholders.

Renforcement du Croissant Rouge Tunisien en tant qu'acteur de changement

15.12.2015 - 30.06.2018

Disposant d'un réseau d'envirion 10'000 bénévoles, le Croissant Rouge Tunisien (CRT) constitue l'organisation caritative la plus importante en Tunisie. Ce projet vise à développer les capacités du CRT à travers le développement organisationnel, le renforcement des capacités des ressources humaines et le développement institutionnel afin qu'il puisse répondre à son mandat de manière fiable et professionnelle. Le partage des responsabilités entre le Gouvernement et le CRT comme acteur de la société civile et auxiliaire de l'État permettra une performance et un engagement plus importants par exemple dans la migration. 

ONU Femmes: Accès aux Services judiciaires pour des femmes et des enfants victimes de la traite des êtres humains au Maroc

01.09.2015 - 28.02.2018

Malgré les réformes initiées au niveau juridique et institutionnel, la traite des personnes reste un phénomène croissant au Maroc. La mise ne place d'un mécanisme national de lutte contre la traite coordonnée entre de nombreux services publics et les acteurs de la socitété civile est nécessaire pour une meilleure protection des victimes. Les récents développements juridiques et polititques ont dynamisé la lutte contre la traite. La phase actuelle du projet vise à améliorer la protection des victimes à travers un appui technique et une meilleure coordination. 

Programme Development North Africa

01.07.2015 - 30.06.2018

Originally conceived to support the development of activities under the Swiss North Africa Programme launched from scratch in 2011, the 5th phase with a much reduced budget allows deepening relevant thematic and context knowledge, developing and formulating future strategic priorities and setting-up adapted or new projects for SDC in a fragile and complex environment. For 2015-16 the focus is on preparatory work for the Swiss North Africa programme 2017-20.

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