There are more refugees now than at any time since the Second World War. Switzerland is committed at several levels to protecting refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants. Within the FDFA, responsibility for this area lies with the Human Security Division and the SDC. They work closely with other federal offices and agencies.
In situations of forced displacement, Switzerland has three goals, with the FDFA playing a leading role in many areas:
Protection on the ground: Switzerland is committed to protecting refugees, internally displaced persons and migrants in their regions of origin (Protection in the Region). It supports countries of first refuge in providing prompt protection to those affected. Switzerland has launched corresponding programmes in the Middle East, Turkey, the Horn of Africa and Yemen. It sends experts, provides food aid and helps fund the work of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), the UN agencies and local NGOs.
Prevention: Switzerland fights the root causes of displacement and forced migration. It is involved in civilian peacebuilding to find political solutions to conflicts as quickly as possible and to prevent further conflicts. It champions human rights and speaks out against the systematic violation of such rights. Through its development efforts, Switzerland creates future prospects on the ground, helps overcome state fragility and supports measures for disaster risk reduction.
Social and economic independence: Switzerland is committed to finding sustainable solutions for refugees and displaced people. It supports access to education, including renovating schools, providing housing, implementing vocational training projects in refugee camps and creating jobs. Because without prospects and the hope of returning home in the near future, many people are forced into onward migration.