A major centerpiece of bilateral relations

A very good bilateral cooperation in migration affairs between Nigeria and Switzerland has been ongoing for many years. It has been institutionalized by a Migration Partnership established between the two governments in February 2011, in the form of a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU). The Swiss State Secretariat for Migration (SEM) is the designated competent authority for the purpose of implementing this Migration Partnership and works closely with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), the Peace and Human Rights Division (PHRD) of the Swiss Federal Department of Foreign Affairs (FDFA) as well as other federal offices.

The main partners on the Nigerian side are the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA), the Nigeria Immigration Service (NIS), the National Commission for Refugees, Migrants and Internally Displaced Persons (NCFRMI), as well as the National Agency for the Prohibition of Trafficking in Persons (NAPTIP).

Through the involvement of all competent authorities in Nigeria and Switzerland, the Migration Partnership can be implemented in a holistic and inclusive manner. So far, 65 innovative projects have been successfully implemented. Main areas of cooperation include combatting of trafficking in persons and smuggling of migrants, sustainable return and reintegration, migration and development, border management, and combatting root causes of irregular migration.

At the annual meetings of the Joint Technical Committee (JTC), both countries engage with each other at a high level and ensure the presence of experts from various ministries. In addition, the Migration Partnership involves other relevant stakeholders such as international and civil society organizations and benefits from their expertise.

Migration Partnerships between Switzerland and other countries

Migration partnerships address the various challenges and opportunities of migration in a comprehensive manner and aim to achieve an equitable balance between the interests of Switzerland, its partner countries and the migrants themselves through a joint approach based on partnership. Migration partnerships are designed to last as long as they benefit both partner states. The content of a migration partnership varies from one partnership to another as it reflects the specific interests of the involved partners.

Nigeria was the first African country with which Switzerland established a migration partnership by signing a MoU in 2011. In addition, migration partnerships have been established with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo, Serbia, Sri Lanka, Tunisia, North Macedonia and Georgia.