Trafficking in Persons Project

The overall objective of the project is to promote decent work in ‘conditions of freedom, equity, security and human dignity’ for women and children employed as domestic or unskilled workers within the country or abroad, thereby reducing their vulnerability to rights violations as victims of trafficking for exploitative employment.

Irregular, undocumented migration for domestic work remains a key area of concern for Sri Lanka, as it renders these workers vulnerable to being trafficked into exploitative labour including commercial sex. Reports indicate that trafficking for labour exploitation also extends to children. Despite efforts to protect migrant workers, a large number of Sri Lankan migrant workers continue to experience violations of their labour rights in the form of psychological and physical harassment, isolation, non-payment of agreed wages, debt bondage to placement agencies and involuntary servitude. An amendment to the Penal Code in 2006, prohibiting all forms of trafficking was a significant step towards addressing the concerns. However, challenges in relation to law enforcement have resulted in Sri Lanka being placed under the Tier 2 Watch List in the Trafficking in Persons Report 2010.

The Project will enhance the capacity of government law enforcement officials to enforce the existing law at different stages of the trafficking process through identification, investigation and prosecution of traffickers; and promote the regulation of migrant domestic work by strengthening ethical recruitment processes. Moreover, the project envisages the strengthening of both the policy environment, and existing institutional mechanisms to implement counter trafficking measures within the new labour migration policy.

Project objectives

  • Objective 1 : Strengthen the law enforcement mechanism to combat trafficking and irregular migration
  • Objective 2 : Enhance the legal, institutional and policy framework to support better governance and efficient migration management
  • Objective 3 : Improve the policy, coordination, and knowledge base for better informed migration in keeping with international standards

Project partners and stakeholders

  • Ministry of Justice
  • Attorney General’s Department
  • Department of Police
  • Immigration & Emigration Department
  • National Child Protection Authority
  • Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment
  • Trade Unions
  • Employers’ Federation Ceylon

For further information

Ms Chandrika Karunaratna

National Project Coordinator