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DateLine Thursday, 31 January 2008

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Government Gazette

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 in Dubai.

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 manpower.

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.


Gamin Gamata - Presidential Community & Welfare Service
Ceylinco Banyan Villas

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