Oxfam engages in advocacy with the UN and other agencies to influence international policy to reduce poverty and inequality. Photo: United Nations Geneva Office, Place des Nations, Geneva, Switzerland / Shutterstock.

The UN building in Switzerland with an avenue of flags and water fountains in front
The UN building in Switzerland with an avenue of flags and water fountains in front

Oxfam in Switzerland

Oxfam is an international non-profit organisation founded in 1942. We are a global movement of people, working together to end the injustice of poverty by tackling the inequality that keeps people poor.

Together we...

  • Tackle the life-threatening vulnerability caused by conflict and the climate crisis;
  • Challenge global inequalities and threats to people facing poverty; and,
  • Speak out against the injustices that cause poverty.

In the toughest and most fragile places on earth, we offer support and resources to enable people to survive and thrive. We use a combination of rights-based sustainable development programs, campaigns, advocacy, and humanitarian assistance in emergencies, conflicts, and fragile contexts. We work together with more than 3,500 partner organisations, as well as allies and communities, in 67 countries with around 10,000 staff.

Oxfam in Switzerland was set up in 2011 and engages with Swiss and international actors in the following ways:

The work of Oxfam International’s office in Geneva is focused on influencing both national and international policy in order to reduce poverty and inequality, improve the lives of people in emergency situations, and achieve gender justice.

Particularly, we engage in advocacy to bring the voices of Oxfam’s 21 country affiliates and our staff and partners on the ground in over 30 emergency situations around the world to international policy debates.

Being based in a United Nations (UN) hub, the Geneva office is well-placed to represent Oxfam’s interests with UN agencies, countries’ Permanent Missions to the UN, and other international processes, forums and actors located in Geneva. We also work closely with like-minded Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) to form partnerships and coalitions to better make an impact on international policy discussions.

The Geneva office engages in a range of policy areas on behalf of Oxfam International, including:

  • Emergency response, including conflict and disasters;
  • Food / hunger;
  • Displacement and refugee policy;
  • Gender justice and women’s rights;
  • Climate change;
  • Inequality.

We build long-term partnerships and opportunities for collaboration with individuals, trusts and foundations, and celebrities and ambassadors that drive income, influence and impact for the communities and organisations that Oxfam supports.

Philanthropic giving offers a crucial role in helping Oxfam fight poverty. We provide a personalised service to all our key supporters, host regular events and, where appropriate, can arrange a visit to a project to see first-hand the difference a partnership has made.

Read more about how Oxfam engages with philanthropic partners

Oxfam works with actors across the private sector, from SMEs to multinational corporations, encouraging companies to contribute to a fair, sustainable economy that benefits everyone.

We want to harness the power of business as a force for good. We encourage companies to take action to respect human rights in line with international standards and guidelines and empower women in their supply chains. More than this, our strong ability to address the root causes of poverty enables us to advise businesses on transforming their business models to improve lives and livelihoods across whole sectors.

Firstly, we seek to shift the role of business in society. We want to see a wholesale transformation of ‘business as usual’, with new, equitable business models designed from the outset to share power and value fairly with stakeholders and maximise positive impacts for people. Secondly, we work with companies across their value chains to protect people’s human rights, improve smallholders’ and workers’ livelihoods, and promote women’s economic empowerment.

Oxfam’s private sector work supports many of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals. In particular, we’re contributing to eliminating poverty and hunger, promoting gender equality and decent work, achieving clean water and sanitation for all, and reducing inequalities.

We also sit on the sustainability advisory boards of organisations including Marks & Spencer and Unilever. Our teams’ advice is informed by Oxfam’s extensive experience of research, advocacy and programme delivery. Our experience of working with partners in 67 countries enables us to work at scale for greater impact.

Read more about how Oxfam engages with the private sector

As part of its engagement with the private sector, Oxfam has launched the Oxfam Business Advisory Service (OBAS) to provide companies with advice and guidance on key issues in their sustainability strategies. Our aim is to drive forward more positive business practises and contributing to a future where business plays a leading role in overcoming poverty, respecting human rights and empowering women.

We aim to increase our impact by enabling companies to benefit from Oxfam’s expertise offering advice, support and, where needed, stretch on the following areas of work:

  • Human & Labour Rights for workers in global supply chains, supporting companies to go “beyond audit” to understand salient human rights risks and their root causes - enabling them to implement stronger and more robust responsible sourcing strategies;
  • Improving the resilience, rights and livelihoods of smallholder farmers supplying key agricultural commodities in global supply chains;
  • Addressing gender inequalities and women’s economic empowerment, with a strong focus on systemic challenges including arduous unpaid care responsibilities and the impact of damaging social norms, and how to change them;
  • Measuring the social impact of a company’s existing sustainability strategies and frameworks through analysis and feedback;
  • Advising on how to improve Monitoring & Evaluation processes to support on the above.

Our experts offer advice and support in a variety of formats including workshops, feedback and advice on company sustainability strategies, deep-dive research reports on specific countries and supply chains, as well as Human Rights Impacts Assessments.

Read more about the Oxfam Business Advisory Service

Where to find us

Oxfam in Switzerland, La Voix-Creuse 16, 1202 Genève.

Contact us

For Policy and Advocacy, please contact advocacy@oxfam.org.

For philanthropy, partnerships, and the private sector, please contact Jo Hazelwood (jhazelwood1@oxfam.org.uk).