International dialogue on migration: Switzerland plays an active role

Filled conference hall with representatives from all over the world.
The Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) helps develop regional and global approaches to forced displacement and migration in multilateral dialogue platforms. © SDC

The challenges linked to forced displacement and migration require a coordinated response from the international community that goes beyond individual country measures. That is why Switzerland is committed to global and regional platforms that enable countries and other stakeholders to engage in dialogue and develop common solutions. Switzerland uses these international platforms to play an active role in developing global standards to improve how migration flows are managed and to reduce human suffering.

The SDC's focus

The SDC advocates for recognition by the international community of the correlation between migration and development. This is based on practical experience from its operational activities, which the SDC seeks to incorporate in global and regional approaches. It aims to improve how migration flows are managed, to reduce the suffering of refugees and migrants, and to make use of the productive contribution migrants can make to the economies and societies of both their country of origin and country of destination.

Migration is closely connected to sustainable economic and social development. Forced displacement and migration often result from a lack of prospects in the person's country of origin. That is why Switzerland's development approach focuses both on the causes of migration in order to provide alternatives to migration as well as on the needs of refugees and migrants, in order to create prospects for people in their country of origin and to strengthen their resilience. Migrants contribute not only to the development of their country of origin but also their country of destination, through regular labour migration and remittances sent back home, for example. In 2017, a total of USD 466 billion was transferred to emerging and developing countries – more than three times the amount of official development aid.

Spreading successful approaches to managing migration

In line with its development policy mandate on migration, the SDC works with governments, local authorities, international organisations, and representatives of civil society, the private sector and the scientific community in its partner countries. Together they develop joint approaches that address the link between migration and development. Here the focus is on creating governmental and social framework conditions to help the international community better manage migration flows and reduce the suffering of refugees and migrants. Such framework conditions also facilitate the contributions of regular migrants to economic and social development. Part of this work involves setting up measures against the exploitation of migrant workers, such as fair and ethical recruitment procedures, compliance with employment rights obligations, and encouraging the diaspora to play an active role in the development of their countries of origin.

Against migrant worker exploitation

By supporting the IOM's project to create a voluntary system of certification for recruitment agencies (IRIS – Integrated Recruitment Integrity System), the SDC encourages the private sector to be included in and take on responsibility for international measures against migrant worker exploitation.

IRIS – Integrated Recruitment Integrity System

The SDC brings these jointly developed, proven approaches into the international dialogue on migration, and incorporates the recommendations from this dialogue in its actual projects. In so doing, the SDC helps to spread effective approaches to migration.

Shaping international platforms for cooperation in migration

Switzerland's solution-oriented and constructive role has enabled it to play a key role in recent years in stimulating and advancing platforms dedicated to the international dialogue on migration. As part of Switzerland’s overall global engagement, the SDC has used its practical experience to play a significant role in developing global approaches.

Including stakeholders in the international dialogue on migration

Migration is a complex phenomenon which requires a variety of actors to work together in order to meet the diverse challenges involved. That is why Switzerland has taken a whole-of-government approach in its migration policy (interdepartmental structure for international cooperation on migration, ICM structure, see Akkordeon).

This makes Switzerland a global role model. In the international dialogue on migration, Switzerland also advocates for the inclusion of such stakeholders – which is not a given in many countries or in inter-state platforms at the global and regional level. That is why the SDC prioritises the inclusion of non-state actors in the dialogue on migration and in international cooperation. Based on Switzerland's principle of subsidiarity, the SDC also advocates the recognition of mayors and other local authorities as additional main stakeholders in terms of cooperation in migration.

Some of the SDC's key implementing partners for its operational projects are the International Organization for Migration (IOM) and the International Labour Organisation (ILO). In the area of research, the SDC works with the Overseas Development Institute (ODI) and supports the World Bank's Global Knowledge Partnership on Migration and Development (KNOMAD) project, which both carry out research on the interrelation between migration and development.

Background

Global and regional dialogue platforms promote exchange and cooperation on forced displacement and migration between states, and between states and other stakeholders such as international organisations, civil society, the private sector and local authorities. In so doing, the platforms make it possible to devise regional and global approaches based on the diverse experiences of these actors. It is in Switzerland's interests to play an active role in this dialogue so as to assert its concerns in terms of migration policy and bring its experience into the process. Thanks to its comprehensive approach to cooperation on migration with other countries (migration partnerships) Switzerland has a particularly high level of legitimacy and credibility for its engagement in the international dialogue on migration.

Migration partnerships

Links

Current projects

Object 37 – 40 of 40

Programme Development North Africa

01.07.2015 - 30.06.2020

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.


International Dialogue on Migration and Development

01.05.2015 - 31.12.2019

The international dialogue on migration and development subsumes different global processes and activities by a number of key stakeholders. In this context, the debate on migration and development has evolved rapidly and has generated outcomes that improve the protection of migrants and enhance their development contribution. Switzerland has played a significant role in this process. SDC will continue supporting relevant initiatives, institutions and partners to further strengthen the global governance on migration and development.


Decent work for migrants in the Middle East

01.01.2015 - 31.12.2019

The Middle East attracts high numbers of migrants from South/South East Asia. While migrants constitute an important contribution to the Gulf State economies and the development of their countries of origin, they remain vulnerable to exploitation and abuse along the migration chain. This programme builds on gains made during its first phase and seeks to improve legal frameworks and their implementation in favour of decent work conditions for migrants. The approach combines operational support to migrants, capacity building of national and civil society actors with regional and global policy dialogue efforts.


Institutional Strengthening of IGAD

31.05.2014 - 31.12.2020

The Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) is a sub-regional organization in the Horn of Africa. In line with Switzerland’s decision to increase its engagement with IGAD, the proposed contribution aims at strengthening the organization institutionally based on its political legitimacy, thematic relevance and capacity to contribute to peace and development in one of the world’s most fragile regions.

Object 37 – 40 of 40