Humanitarian diplomacy

Through its humanitarian diplomacy activities, Switzerland helps to protect civilian populations in armed conflicts and other situations of violence and contributes to efforts to address the consequences of climate change. It develops innovative solutions to current humanitarian challenges and works at the diplomatic level to improve the framework conditions for humanitarian work.

Switzerland promotes compliance with existing norms and contributes to the development of instruments that strengthen the protection of civilians. To this end, it maintains regular dialogue with other states, international organisations, academic circles and non-governmental organisations. Switzerland is actively engaged both in multilateral forums and in the countries concerned because complementary efforts at both levels are essential to achieving a long-term impact.


In order to achieve its objectives, Switzerland works on four main fronts:

  • Protection of civilian populations – aimed at ensuring the security and full respect of the rights of civilians and persons hors de combat. 
  • Multilateral peacebuilding – aimed at achieving the sustainable peace goals of the 2030 Agenda.
  • Humanitarian disarmament – aimed at ensuring the prohibition of the use of weapons banned by international treaties, the proper management of conventional weapons and ammunition, and humanitarian demining.
  • Climate change and environmental degradation – aimed at safeguarding human security in addressing the adverse effects of climate change and environmental degradation.

Humanitarian diplomacy thus aims to create the necessary conditions for the affected populations to be able to enjoy their rights and for humanitarian aid to promptly reach its intended recipients. Reaching the most vulnerable populations is a priority. 

Last update 25.07.2023

  • The safety of and respect for the rights of civilians – particularly of vulnerable persons – in armed conflicts are priorities of Swiss foreign policy.

  • The promotion of peace is one of the central tasks of the FDFA. Switzerland promotes peace at both the bilateral and multilateral level.


Peace and Human Rights Division

Bundesgasse 32
3003 Bern


+41 58 462 30 50

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