National Labour Migration Policy, Sri Lanka
Responding to the continued importance of labour migration for Sri Lanka, the Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare (MFEPW) sought the assistance of the International Labour Organization (ILO) in developing a national policy on labour migration in 2007. The development of the National Policy was guided by the ILO Multilateral Framework on Labour Migration, which elaborates non-binding principles and guidelines for a rights-based approach to labour migration. Following consultations with ILO, three focus areas were identified: good governance of labour migration, protection and empowerment of migrant workers and their families, and linking migration and development processes. A thematic working group was established to work on each of these focus areas. The working groups operated in the context of a larger Tripartite National Steering Committee, chaired by the Minister of the MFEPW and comprising relevant government ministries and agencies. The Policy was officially launched in 2008 and adopted in 2009. Its overall objective is to advance opportunities for all men and women to engage in migration for decent and productive employment in conditions of freedom, dignity, security and equity. The Policy recognises the significant contribution of all Sri Lankan migrant workers to the national economy through remittances and other mechanisms. Since its adoption, a number of mechanisms, guidelines, training sessions and documents have been prepared to facilitate implementation. For example, in 2013, an operational manual was produced aimed at strengthening and streamlining the handling of migrant worker grievances and other services that Sri Lankan diplomatic missions provide in countries of destination.