International Migrants Day 2018: Street Theatre to Raise Awareness on Human Trafficking

The ILO in Sri Lanka, in collaboration with Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), organised a pop-up street theatre performance in honour of International Migrants day on 18 December 2018.

The originally scripted production by the Somalatha Subasinghe Play House explored issues affecting labour migration in Sri Lanka and aims at raising awareness on human trafficking and irregular migration. The play drew upon real-life experiences of migrant workers from Sri Lanka, highlighting trafficking indicators such as deception, intimidation, physical violence and vulnerability. It was also an effort to spark conversation on the importance of reporting, using theatre as a medium.

The play was held at the SLBFE premises and performed among licensed recruitment agents, migrant workers and families, migrant trainees and staff present at the time.

This is the first in a series of street plays which will tour Sri Lanka. Street theatre performances are scheduled in Kurunegala, Kandy, Colombo and Gampaha, targeting high migration communities and raising awareness on labour migration issues.

The play is conceptualised and commissioned by EQUIP, an ILO project funded by the US Department of State Bureau for South and Central Asia. EQUIP aims to reduce human trafficking in Sri Lanka through three-pronged interventions focusing on Prevention, Protection and Prosecution.