The FDFA's Human Security Division (HSD) is responsible for the promotion of peace and human rights as set out in the Federal Council’s foreign policy strategy. It focuses on the security of the individual and protecting people against violence, war and acts of arbitrary treatment. The HSD is part of the Directorate of Political Affairs.
Human Security Division
In order to carry out its tasks, the HSD is allocated a framework credit which has to be re-authorised by Parliament every four years.
The division has eight sections:
- Peace Policy I, II, III and IV
- Human Rights Policy
- Humanitarian Policy
- Foreign Policy on Migration
- Swiss Expert Pool for Civilian Peacebuilding (SEP)
The HSD's four peace policy sections focus on the prevention and resolution of violent conflict and efforts to ensure lasting peace. Their core competences include the provision of good offices, in particular mediation and facilitation, support for electoral and democratic processes, dealing with the past, and the prevention of atrocities and violent extremism. Each section implements the corresponding strategies and helps draw up international guidelines and standards. Together with partner organisations, they offer training courses, support local initiatives and provide political, technical and financial support. Sections I, II and III are each responsible for a geographical focus region; section IV has a thematic remit.
Human rights policy
The Human Rights Policy Section works to ensure worldwide respect for human rights. It implements the FDFA's human rights strategy, engages in human rights dialogue with specific states and promotes the mutual secondment of experts. It works closely with civil society organisations on the ground in order to achieve real improvements in human rights. It also implements the action plan for the worldwide abolition of the death penalty.
The Humanitarian Policy Section focuses on the protection of the civilian population in armed conflicts and displaced persons. It helps to draw up and further develop international standards. It implements strategies to combat the illicit trade in small arms and anti-personnel mines and for the disarmament and demobilisation of former soldiers – especially child soldiers – and their reintegration into society.
Foreign policy on migration
The Foreign Policy on Migration Section works to ensure policy on refugees and migration is based on respect for human dignity, and promotes efforts to combat human trafficking. In particular, it takes part in the development of international guidelines and standards.
Swiss Expert Pool for Civilian Peacebuilding (SEP)
The SEP provides experts for bilateral and multilateral projects, international peace missions and election observation missions. Switzerland's participation in the OSCE Special Monitoring Mission to Ukraine is a case in point.