© Helvetas / Patrick Rohr

Our Expertise: Migration and Development

© Helvetas / Patrick Rohr

Helvetas contributes to the protection of the rights of migrants and their families. We minimize the risks and costs of migration and maximize its positive impact on local social and economic development.

Why migration and development matter

The positive contribution of migration to development is increasingly recognized and features prominently in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Migrant women and men are “actors” of development and contribute to the economic growth in the destination countries. They play a crucial role in the financial, cultural and knowledge transfers to their countries of origin. Migrants tend to be vulnerable. Key framework conditions need to be in place that help safeguard their resources and rights. Helvetas and our local partners help build the capacity of all stakeholders in building effective framework conditions: governments, civil society, the private sector and the migrants themselves.

What we do

Safe labor migration

Helvetas neither encourages nor discourages people from migrating. We recognize migration as a viable livelihood strategy. Our work focuses on “South-South” migration and is based on a migrant-centered approach. We support migrant women and men and their families in access to information, rights, and capacities throughout the entire migration cycle.

Migration and local development

We strengthen especially local governments to streamline migration dynamics and integrate social mobility into governance processes. Helvetas promotes interactions among authorities, migrants and their families, and migrant representatives or associations. Together with our local partners and civil society actors we engage in advocacy and promote a constructive national policy dialogue on migration.

Mobility as a cross-cutting issue

Migration has implications on many development sectors. A multi-disciplinary approach is key to successfully addressing migration-related challenges. Helvetas is committed to integrating and monitoring migration aspects in all areas of our work.

© Helvetas /Patrick Rohr
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© Helvetas / Patrick Rohr
Peace Committee of a Sri Lankan village with Sin, Tamil and Muslim population © Helvetas / Patrick Rohr
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© Helvetas / Patrick Rohr
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© Helvetas / Patrick Rohr
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What we offer

  • Expertise in four key intervention areas: human rights and protection, economic development and remittances management, skills development, and psycho-social support throughout all stages of the migration cycle.
  • Advice on strengthening good governance in all migration matters; highlight the positive aspects of migration; strengthen the political, social, and economic inclusion of migrants; conflict prevention.
  • Strengthening institutions. Capacity development of state and non-state actors. Support government actors improving public services. Strengthen civil society, including migrant representatives and associations, to engage in advocacy and policy dialogue at local, national and international levels. Civil society has a crucial role in promoting gender-sensitive, rights-based and non-discriminatory policies that enabling safe and regular migration.
  • Implementation of a migrant centered-approach to increase the benefits and reduce the costs of migration.
  • Include different migration dimensions and dynamics in designing and planning development interventions such as the integration of diasporas in rural economic development or migrants in skills development.
  • Geographical coverage: Our advisors, based in the global South and in Switzerland, provide technical support to projects in Europe, Africa, Asia, and Latin America.

Contact our team

Our multilingual advisory team offers wide-ranging thematic expertise and has in-depth experience in navigating complex processes. Helvetas’ work builds on over 60 years of experience in more than 30 countries.

Contact our migration and development experts

Selected projects

Helvetas develops and guides projects. To be sustainable, they must be locally embedded. We support our partners in effectively organizing projects and processes and assist local authorities to better assume their responsibilities.

Sri Lanka Governance, Peace & Migration

Making Labor Migration a Success

© Helvetas
Nepal Governance, Peace & Migration

Making Labor Migration an Informed Choice

Our quarterly newsletter “Highlights”

For development practitioners and anyone interested in our projects and approaches.

Further information

Download and read our publications on different migration and development related topics.

Partnerships, alliances and networks

Other topics that might interest you

Gender and Social Equity

Helvetas makes sure that our work actively and meaningfully includes and supports the most disadvantaged groups.

Governance, Peace & Migration

In many countries where we work, men and women are unable to claim their rights and participate actively in decision-making processes.

Skills Development and Education

Lack of education perpetuates inequality because poor countries cannot compete economically without a skilled workforce.