Thematic Cluster Migration

The SCHR Cluster Migration deals with the manifold challenges that arise during the implementation of human rights obligations in the field of migration policy.
The phenomenon of migration is a challenge to all affected countries: the country of origin, the host state and also the migrants and their relatives. As a country of immigration Switzerland is obliged to organize and implement the migration laws in a manner conforming to human rights. In practice, this means that the legal rights of the various categories of migrants living in Switzerland are protected. In this context Switzerland has ratified numerous international conventions such as the Convention relating to the Status of Refugees of 1951 according to which refugees enjoy special protection.
The following problems are of particular interest to the SCHR:

  • Implementation of human rights guidelines in the asylum procedures and compliance to the law of non-refoulment
  • Economic, social and cultural rights  of migrants with regard to a non-discriminating access to the health system, to schooling, to the labour market and to other sectors of society
  • Protection of foreigners from discrimination due to their ethnic and cultural origin
  • Human rights of migrant groups in particular need of protection, such as children or people affected by human trafficking
  • Integration measures for migrants with a longer duration of stay
  • Human rights with regard to family reunion
  • Implementation of hardship rulings in the case of undocumented migrants
  • Human rights requirements in the field of detentions pending departure


The SCHR Cluster Migration is led by the two following institutes at the University of Neuchatel:

Both institutes stand out for their excellent teaching, research and advisory skills in the field of “human rights and migration”.


The SCHR documents and evaluates the implementation practice of human rights norms in Switzerland on a mandate basis, provides information on standards and best practices, draws up practice-oriented and application-oriented studies and provides further education and counselling services. With its services the SCHR aims at federal, cantonal and municipal authorities, private institutions, enterprises and the civil society.