Asian nations to interact on migrant worker rights
Regional heads in Asia have come up with a co-ordinated effort to
protect migrant worker rights and welfare in the region, according to
decisions taken at the recently concluded “Colombo Process” convention
According to Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister
Keheliya Rambukwella, member countries had agreed to have better
interaction to minimise abuse against migrant workers.
Accordingly a proper mechanism has been proposed to look into the
work of private employment agencies, employers and tough measures have
been proposed to deter possible offenders.
Also special emphasis has been laid on the proper payment of migrant
worker wages and also regarding exorbitant fees charged by private
employment agencies, with the members agreeing on Government
intervention over such matters.
Also it has come up with several proposals to uplift foreign
employment promotion in the region with the focus on better skilled
The Minister said the member countries had agreed to launch a co-ordinated
effort to train skilled workers for various sectors considering the high
demand for such manpower in the region and beyond.
The convention was held in Dubai recently, with the participation of
all relevant Ministers from Asian member countries and the International
Organisation for Migration(IOM) acting as the mediator. Rambukwella said
Sri Lanka’s foreign employment sector would be further strengthened
according to decisions taken at the convention.
According to a proposal made by Minister Rambukwella a committee is
to be appointed to oversee the work of proposed measures and also
relevant countries has agreed to open separate offices to expedite
matters pertaining to migrant workers.
According to Director of SLBFE Kingsley Ranawaka, the Sri Lankan
delegation also took steps to sign an MOU’s with Kuwait, Oman, Lebanon,
Saudi Arabia while holding talks with several other countries regarding
migrant worker promotion and welfare.