Decent Work for Migrant Workers from South Asia (DWSA)

Labour migration to the Middle East is an important factor in the economic development strategy of many South Asian countries. Due to its known expertise and experience in the areas of decent work and fair recruitment, Switzerland is well placed to contribute to migrants’ access to decent work, thus maximizing the productive potential of migration and addressing irregular and unsafe migration. In the interest of Switzerland, this programme contributes to the prosperity in the region.  

Región/País Tema Período Presupuesto
Migración laboral
Migración en general (aspectos de desarrollo y partenariados)
01.08.2019 - 31.07.2023
CHF  9’000’000
Contexto Many people from South Asia continue to migrate to the Middle East for work, thus contributing to the economic development of both countries of destination and origin. Remittances to the region have had a positive impact on poverty reduction. Despite considerable progress made in strengthening the protection and enhancing the longer-term productive potential of migrant workers, migrants continue to face challenges in recruitment, employment, skills recognition, and reintegration. They are often subject to abuse, discrimination and exploitation, while their families left behind face a number of challenges. Governments need assistance to define and implement better framework conditions for migrant workers and their families. Civil society needs to be enabled to advocate for the rights of migrant workers and provide services to migrants. The private sector has an important role to play in ensuring and safeguarding decent work standards for migrants, as well as in imparting and recognizing the skills of migrants. The Regional Consultative Processes (RCP) prove to be robust platforms for sharing, learning and defining priorities to improve labour migration governance based on the national realities.
Objetivos Enhancing the productive potential of labour migration and the wellbeing of migrant workers and their families through improved labour migration processes, labour market regulations and access to targeted services for migrant workers.
Grupos destinarios

The ultimate beneficiaries are migrant workers and their families who benefit from improved working conditions and access to relevant services.

Key government stakeholders in South Asia and regional CSO networks and their members in Asia will benefit from opportunities for networking, know-how and exchange. Private sector actors will benefit by meeting shared interests, values and objectives as well as gaining benefits in productivity.

Development partners in the region will benefit through sharing and exchange of knowledge and experience gained through the programme.

Efectos a medio plazo
  • Outcome 1: National and regional-level initiatives strengthen the governance of labour migration along the migration corridor from South Asia to the Middle East and within Asia.
  • Outcome 2: Women and men migrant workers and their families are able to sustain the social and economic benefits of safe and regular migration.

Resultados previstos:  

For Outcome 1:

  1. Government stakeholders representing the Colombo Process (CP) increased their knowledge and expertise on labour migration to be effective at the national, regional and global level.
  2. Governments representing the CP reviewed their labour migration frameworks based on global frameworks related to migration and sustainable development.
  3. The CP and its thematic working groups are functioning effectively and are used by member states as an important forum to discuss and develop common positions related to labour mobility with the countries of destination. 

For Outcome 2:

  1. Innovative services including in the sectors of skills development, ethical recruitment, reintegration, and remittance management are piloted together with the private sector to harness the benefits of migration.
  2. Effective service delivery for migrant workers in countries of origin and destination is improved.
  3. Cross-regional collaboration for learning and implementation is facilitated.

Resultados de las fases anteriores:  

  • Switzerland has an exceptionally strong profile as the main bilateral donor on migration and development in the region.
  • The Regional Consultative Processes provided the platform for governments to learn, share experiences and adopt best practices.
  • Policy discussions led to policy reforms at national level (e.g. the review of the Sri Lanka labour migration policy).
  • Engagement with Civil Society Organizations contributed to make governments aware of migrant workers’ voices to introduce necessary changes and to improve service delivery.
  • Migrant workers had access to quality services through the interventions of civil society organizations.
  • Media projects highlighted the issues related to labour migration, raising awareness and enabling governments to take corrective measures.

Dirección / Officina Federal responsable COSUDE
Crédito Cooperación al desarrollo
Contrapartes del proyecto Contraparte del contrato
ONG internacional o extranjera
Sector privado
Organización de las Naciones Unidas (ONU)
  • Organización Internacional para las Migraciones
  • Sector privado extranjero Norte
  • Fondo de las Naciones Unidas para el Desarrollo de la Capitalización

Coordinación con otros proyectos y actores This programme will be implemented in close synergy with all related projects of the GPMD Middle East. Collaboration will also be sought with relevant programmes of SDC’s South Cooperation and GPMD global projects (e.g. FAIR, IRIS, and FAIRWAY).
Presupuesto Fase en curso Presupuesto suizo CHF    9’000’000 Presupuesto actual suizo ya emitido CHF    6’399’081 Total del proyecto desde la primera fase Presupuesto suizo CHF   8’230’000 Presupuesto inclusive contrapartes del proyecto CHF   17’230’000
Fases del proyecto Fase 2 01.08.2019 - 31.07.2023   (Fase en curso) Fase 1 01.11.2013 - 30.06.2019   (Completed)