Safe Labour Migration Programme in Sri Lanka

Supported by the Government of Switzerland, this programme aims at ensuring an effective implementation of the Sri Lanka National Labour Migration Policy while promoting decent work through good governance, protection and empowerment of migrant workers.

Currently in its third phase, the ILO Safe Labour Migration Programme in Sri Lanka contributes to promote safe and regular migration through improved policies and legal frameworks related to labour migration and better service provision to migrant workers and their families. The experiences of the planned interventions will feed and substantiate national, regional and global policy dialogue on Migration and Development.

During the second phase of the programme, the ILO provided technical support to the Government resulting in the adoption of a policy on Return and Reintegration of Sri Lankan migrants in December 2015. Throughout the Project, ILO engaged with the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment and stakeholders to develop a code of ethical conduct for recruitment agents and sensitize a majority of the licensed foreign recruitment agents and developed safe migration information dissemination tools and disseminated same to more than 1000 local level government officers through capacity building programmes, among other key achievements.

Collaborating Institutions:

Ministry of Foreign Employment, Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment, workers’ organizations, employers’ organizations, Association of Licensed Foreign Employment Agencies, private employment agencies, civil society organizations, academic institutions, think tanks etc

Specific Project Objectives

  1. To improve the policy, legislative and regulatory frameworks and processes that govern labour migration in Sri Lanka to reflect and respond to current contextual situations and needs that further safeguard the rights of women and men migrant workers
  2. To protect the rights of and empower women migrant workers and their families
  3. To maximise the benefits and minimise the negative impacts of labour migration
  4. To document and share experiences, good practices and the lessons learned at national, regional and global level

Key activities:

policy review and revision, targeted research on migration costs and remittances, promotion or ratification of ILS, promoting ethical recruitment practices by licensed recruitment agents, strengthening support to Sri Lankan migrant workers through diplomatic missions, strengthening grievance handling processes, mainstreaming labour migration in to other sectors, capacity building of government staff working on labour migration issues, support for return and reintegration efforts, documenting good practices and lessons learnt, sharing of experiences and promoting cross learning among national level implementation partners and local level implementation partners.