YouProject.ch is an internet platform initiated and financed by the State Secretariat for Migration (SEM), which is part of the Swiss Government’s Federal Department of Justice and Police (FDJP). YouProject was realised and designed in coordination and collaboration with the International Organization for Migration (IOM).
The SEM regulates the conditions under which people can enter Switzerland in order to live and work. It also decides who will receive protection from persecution in the country of origin of the asylum seeker. Moreover, the SEM coordinates Federal Government, Cantonal and communal efforts with regards to integration and is the authority responsible for naturalization matters. In addition, the Secretariat advises Swiss citizens who are planning to emigrate.
For twenty years, IOM has worked in the field of return and reintegration assistance in Switzerland. IOM Bern supports the planning of return services by the return counsellors in the Cantons as well as in the federal reception and procedure centres for asylum seekers. If necessary, IOM organizes support meetings with the individual to meet the special needs of returnees at departure, during transit and on arrival in the country of origin. IOM, furthermore, provides reintegration assistance projects for the returnees in their communities of origin (such as supporting the formation of a company/business, housing and accommodation assistance, job-placements, apprenticeships and trainings, medical assistance, etc.), all coordinated and monitored by the relevant IOM missions onsite.
Persons residing in Switzerland and falling under the Swiss Asylum Act have the possibility to apply for return assistance at each stage of the asylum procedure. Besides rejected asylum seekers, persons who previously immigrated to Switzerland and wish to return to their country of origin after the situation has improved may also benefit from return assistance. However, returning home is not always easy and return assistance is key for a sustainable reintegration that also helps to prevent a re-immigration.
The SEM supports the Cantons in issuing travel documents and supports the entire return and reintegration process in the returnee’s country of origin. IOM is mandated by the SEM to assist the Swiss partners with the organization of voluntary returns and coordination of the return assistance.
The purpose of return assistance is to foster a voluntary, autonomous and dutiful return of rejected asylum seekers through a system of benefits and incentives. The SEM implements specific reintegration programs in collaboration with the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC), IOM, and the competent cantonal agencies and relief organizations.
Any person residing in Switzerland and falling under the Swiss Asylum Act, who decides to return to his/her country of origin, may apply for return assistance at a return counselling offices in reception and procedure centres as well as in the Cantons. Furthermore, certain groups of persons falling under the Federal Act on Foreign Nationals such as victims and witnesses of human trafficking and cabaret dancers who are being exploited in Switzerland may also benefit from return assistance. Finally, some Cantons also finance specific return assistance programs for other groups falling under the Federal Act on Foreign Nationals.
It should also be highlighted that return assistance is not granted to convicted offenders or to persons who have misused the asylum system either during or after proceedings.
With the help of the SDC, the SEM co-finances structural aid programs directly in the countries of origin to support the local population and the returnees alike. Such programs include projects to prevent irregular migration (PiM) with the aim of making a short-term contribution to limiting irregular migration.
Welcome to YouProject
YouProject presents videos and slideshows of people who were residing in Switzerland under the asylum regime and who returned voluntarily to their countries of origin. Various projects within the Swiss return assistance programs aim at creating better conditions for their successful reintegration and help to facilitate a new beginning. YouProject puts the opinion and experience of the returnees at the centre of the stories.
Share your project
Have you already returned to your country of origin and have you successfully realized your project? Share your project on YouProject.ch and show how you started to implement your own business!
Contact us and send us your photos and your videos or upload pictures and comments on the open forum!