International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) / Phase VII of core contribution (2021-2024)

Switzerland has since many years a very proactive asset recovery policy, and has returned more than USD 2 bio. of stolen assets to countries of origin. The International Centre for Asset Recovery (ICAR) is a Swiss based, independent competence centre in asset recovery. Its mission is supporting affected countries to investigate and prosecute financial crimes, with the goal of strengthening anti-corruption institutions and recovering stolen public assets. Due to the growing demand by developing countries for support in asset recovery, and ICAR’s unique position in this field, Switzerland / SDC continue will continue this strategic partnership.

Thème Période Budget

Développement des systèmes légaux et judiciaires
Organisations contre la corruption
Mobilisation des ressources intérieures
01.01.2021 - 31.12.2024
CHF  2’900’000

Corruption can lead to pervasive distrust in government, generating violence, civil strife, and conflict. The results are devastating for people. Corruption is also costly - particularly for those who are already worse off. In fact, an IMF study (“Corruption: Costs and Mitigation Strategies”, 2016) estimates that bribery costs roughly USD 1.5 to USD 2 trillion annually, or approximately 2 % of global GDP.

The recovery and return of stolen assets to their countries of origin is a key component to combatting corruption. Asset recovery includes all processes involved in the tracing, freezing, confiscating and returning of funds obtained through illegal activities. Asset recovery has recently also been seen as an important component with regard to the financing and implementation of the 2030 Agenda. It is also a target in SDG 16 (16.4).


ICAR’s long-term main goals are:

- to strengthen the legal, technical and practical capacities of countries to recover stolen assets, resulting in countries becoming increasingly more self-sufficient in doing so.

-to promote the international asset recovery agenda, through the publication of global asset recovery issues and the support to global asset recovery fora such as the “Lausanne” and “Addis process”

Groupes cibles

ICAR’s work directly targets Financial Investigation Units (FIUs), anti-corruption authorities, prosecutor’s offices in partner countries.

Being demand-driven, ICAR only operates when asked to by a government / state.

People who ultimately profit from ICAR’s work, particularly the poorest who suffer most from corruption, inappropriate governance and the lack of a functioning and independent judiciary. 

Effets à moyen terme

ICAR’s aim is to contribute to the quality and effectiveness of a country’s law enforcement and judicial system and thereby significantly strengthen the rule of law and public trust in government.

ICAR is pursuing two specific outcomes:

1) ICAR partner countries have more effective anti-corruption systems that deliver sanctions and recover assets.

2) ICAR contributes to the development of stronger laws and international standards to make asset recovery more efficient.


Principaux résultats attendus:  

1.    Case Advice
ICAR partner countries effectively use
their enforcement instruments with a view
to recovering stolen assets.

2.    Training
ICAR trainees improve their capacity to
conduct asset recovery cases  by at least 30%
as a direct result of ICAR training.

3.    Legal and Policy Work
ICAR partner countries introduce state
of the art investigative tools, legal instruments
and/or policies and procedures in support of
more effective asset recovery.

4.   Global Policy dialogue, tools and research
Innovative or improved responses or approaches
to asset recovery challenges are discussed and/or
introduced globally and domestically

Principaux résultats antérieurs:  

-  More than USD 20 million could be returned to the Governments of Kenya and Peru as a result of ICAR’s support to those two countries.

-  ICAR has contributed substantially to global policy initiatives, e.g. Guidelines for the Efficient Recovery of Stolen Assets (“Lausanne Guidelines”)

-  ICAR’s work in training and hands-on case-based capacity building demonstrated significant long-term impact in Kenya, Peru, the Kyrgyz Republic and Tanzania.

Direction/office fédéral responsable DDC
Partenaire de projet Partenaire contractuel
Organisation suisse à but non lucratif
  • Autre organisation suisse non-profit

Coordination avec d'autres projets et acteurs

Swiss level: This project will complement SDC’s work on governance and the work of other parts of the Swiss Administration such as the Swiss Directorate of International Law (DIL), the Federal Office of Justice (FOJ) or the Office of the Attorney General to recover assets in Switzerland which have been stolen from developing countries.

International level: ICAR works closely with UNODC, the World Bank, the Stolen Asset Recovery Initiative (StAR), the OECD, the United Nations Crime Prevention and Criminal Justice Network (PNI), Interpol and the European Union.

Budget Phase en cours Budget de la Suisse CHF    2’900’000 Budget suisse déjà attribué CHF    890’000
Phases du projet Phase 7 01.01.2021 - 31.12.2024   (Phase en cours) Phase 6 01.09.2017 - 31.12.2020   (Completed) Phase 5 01.01.2014 - 31.12.2016   (Completed)