Fragility and violence impede poverty reduction

The ongoing protracted conflict in the region, the challenging political situation in each of the countries, the legal and/or societal discrimination against various groups, and generally against women, result in a variety of vulnerable groups in need of protection including but not limited to refugees, IDPs, stateless people, trafficked persons, women at risk for several reasons, vulnerable children, prisoners, vulnerable and exploited labour migrants in the region.

Objectives of the Protection programme

According to its strategy, SDC will focus on interventions to support the development of a more protective environment for vulnerable groups in the four countries. SDC will promote a human rights based approach, i.e. support will be focused on initiatives of partners to

  • Make the legal framework more adequate and protective for the rights and interests of vulnerable groups, in accordance with international standards,
  • Improve State capacity to fulfil duties,
  • Implement legal norms and formulate adequate policies with regard to the rights and interests of vulnerable groups; Improve capacity of civil society to claim rights, lobby for the protection interests of vulnerable groups and hold governments accountable for fulfilling their responsibilities to protect.


The overall goal of the SDC Protection programme 2010-2014 is a contribution to improve the capacity and conditions to exercise rights for refugees, IDPs, vulnerable groups and vulnerable migrants. This is concretized in three specified outcomes expected:

  • Government capacity to address refugee and migration issues is strengthened,
  • Legal status of refugees, IDPs and vulnerable migrants, in particular women and children, is improved and their basic rights protected,
  • Access to job market is improved through amended labour legislations and regulatory environment.


Supporters of the deposed president José Manuel Zelaya coming under fire from the Honduran army in 2009
Around 1.5 billion people live in countries where violence is part of everyday life. ©Laif/Redux-Stephen Ferry (Honduras, 2009)

Fragility, conflicts, violence and human rights violations: these are among the main challenges to poverty reduction. Fragility within a state is characterised by the government’s inability to provide security and basic public services. The  SDC works to alleviate the causes of conflict, strengthen basic public services and increase respect for human rights.

The SDC's worldwide engagement