Migration Dialogue in Switzerland
Switzerland has a long history of immigration and emigration. The SDC is an advocate for the inclusion of developmental aspects in Swiss migration policy. and draws attention to the positive potential that this offers.
Over two million migrants have come to Switzerland in the years since the second world war. They have made a key contribution to the country's economic growth. Earlier in history, thousands of Swiss people emigrated for financial reasons. Today, around 10% of the Swiss population lives abroad. Latterly, the signature of the freedom of movement agreement with the European Union has had a lasting impact on Swiss migration policy. Nowadays, Switzerland's migrant population consists mainly of well-qualified individuals from within Europe.
|•||In 2009, 1.68 million non-Swiss had made Switzerland their home. They make up 21.6 percent of the residential population. One million of the total originate from EU and EFTA states.|
|•||Switzerland has signed readmission agreements with 43 states, under which their citizens may be returned if they do not hold a residence permit.|
|•||Switzerland has now signed memoranda of understanding on the implementation of migration partnerships with Bosnia and Herzegovina, Serbia, Kosovo and Nigeria.|
Partnerships with Home Countries
In recent years, the Swiss authorities have developed new and innovative instruments such as migration partnerships and the Protection in the Region programme to further relations with developing and transitional countries. These instruments facilitate political dialogue with these countries, and are designed to foster close cooperation with partner states. For instance, the targeted partnership with Nigeria provides for occupational training projects for Nigerian migrants in their homeland, as well as projects to prevent irregular migration to Switzerland. In Yemen – the first port of all for countless refugees from the Horn of Africa – Switzerland is helping improve protection and living conditions for the refugees, for example by financing projects to register asylum-seekers and to provide medical care.
As an international phenomenon, migration cannot be viewed from the purely domestic perspective. Switzerland is endeavouring to meet this challenge both internally, through closer interdepartmental cooperation in the sense of a "whole-of-government" approach, and in the international arena, by participating in selected regional and global initiatives.
The SDC Focus
Meeting Global Challenges
The SDC is particularly committed to greater coherence between migration and development policies, and puts this philosophy into practice in its own programmes. Current and future migration and development-related activities should be viewed from the developmental perspective, and development projects designed with migratory movements in mind.
The SDC is also making an important contribution to migration partnerships, by launching development programmes in partner countries as an instrument of Swiss migration policy.
In the dialogue on migration policy, the SDC's key partners are the Federal Office for Migration (FOM), the FDFA's Political Affairs Division IV, the State Secretariat for Economic Affairs (SECO), and civil society (NGOs, representatives of the diaspora and research centres).
Theme contact: Beata Godenzi
Additional Information and Documents
- Un seul monde
Disponible seulement en Suisse
No. 1/2008: Migrations, Rwanda, Caucase du Nord, ONGs
Download (PDF, 1676 KB) : [de] [fr] [it]
- Swiss migration partnership strategy for the western balkans 2012–2015
Download (PDF, 167 KB) : [de] [en] [fr] [it]
- Nigeria and Switzerland jointly organize a conference on migration
- Nigeria and Switzerland concluded Migration Partnership
- Preventing Migration: Tapping the knowledge of Bosnian youth