Sri Lanka joins in measures to protect migrant workers at the Abu Dhabi Dialogue

Kuwait ADD p1 27nov2014

A series of initiatives aimed at boosting protection and improving conditions of employment for millions of foreign workers in the Gulf have been agreed upon at the Third Ministerial Consultative Meeting of the Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD) comprising Asian countries sending and receiving labour, which concluded in Kuwait last week. The 'Kuwait Declaration' noted that "recognizing that individual government's efforts may fall short, we resolve to work together to prevent and sanction exploitative recruitment practices that place workers at great risk and undermine fundamental rights".

Ministers and Heads of Delegations from Afghanistan, Bahrain, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Kuwait, Nepal, Oman, Pakistan, the Philippines, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, Thailand, United Arab Emirates and Vietnam attended this meeting, held on 26-27 November 2014 under the chairmanship of Kuwait. Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha led the Sri Lanka delegation.


Sri Lanka maintains a human rights based approach towards its migrant workers with a comprehensive labour migration policy

dpr 105iomcouncil 26nov2014

Sri Lanka stated that a comprehensive labour migration policy has been developed, with a view to managing labour migration properly and orderly and to ensure dignity, security and equity for Sri Lankan nationals seeking employment abroad. The Government of Sri Lanka has taken concerted efforts in several policy key areas, namely, improving recruitment practices and educating labour agents, pre-departure orientation, empowerment of those migrants who have re-entered the country, facilitating cheaper, faster, and safer transfer of remittances.
Sri Lanka’s Deputy Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva, Mrs. Samantha Jayasuriya made this statement at the 105th Council of the International Organization for Migration on 26th November 2014 in Geneva.


Sri Lanka emphasizes commitment to address the issue of 'ethical labour recruitment practices' during its tenure as Colombo Process Chair


Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha, has said Sri Lanka which took over the chair of the Colombo Process (CP) one year ago was of the view that if it were to make a difference and ensure that some real benefits would accrue to the people of the member countries, it was important that they address the tough issues, including 'Ethical Labour Recruitment Practices'. He noted that in ongoing deliberations the CP is seeking to harmonize existing national regulatory frameworks, promote Standard Employment Contracts (including addressing issue of contract substitution and create a registration mechanism for contracts), consider common minimum wage levels, and conditions that promote health and well-being and insurance protection, and to develop a common position on ethical recruitment practices.

Ambassador Aryasinha made these observations and reviewed the progress made by the CP under Sri Lanka's leadership, when he addressed an Expert Consultation on Recruitment Practices and their Impact on Human Rights of Migrants, held at the Palais des Nations in Geneva on 31 October 2014. The consultation was convened by Mr. Francois Crepeau, Special Repporteur on the Human Rights of Migrants and was attended by diplomats, academics, representatives of the ILO and IOM, Recruitment specialists, as well as NGOs involved in the field.


Colombo Process Senior Officials Meeting concludes in Colombo

CP-SOM 6may2014
The first Senior Officials' Meeting of the Colombo Process under Sri Lanka's chairmanship reached a successful conclusion on Wednesday 7 May in Colombo with discussion and agreement on key labour migration principles, including the promotion of cheaper, faster and safer transfer of remittances, standard employment contracts, ethical labour recruitment, and cooperation and dialogue with the Abu Dhabi Dialogue (ADD). Established in 2003 in Colombo, the Colombo Process is a Regional Consultative Process on Labour Migration (RCP) of 11 labour sending countries from Asia comprising Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam - all of who were represented at the meeting.  The IOM, SDC and ILO were also associated with the Meeting. Sri Lanka assumed the chairmanship of the Colombo Process in October 2013.


Sri Lanka and the Philippines discuss collaboration between the Colombo Process and Abu Dhabi Dialogue

Colombo Process Manila Meeting -2014

Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Dilan Perera met with his counterpart, Secretary Labour and Employment Rosalinda Dimapilis-Baldoz of the Philippines on Monday 6 January in Manila. The areas for collaboration discussed at the meeting included pre-departure orientation, qualification recognition process, comprehensive information orientation programmes and recruitment standards.

Minister Perera and Secretary Dimapilis-Baldoz met in their respective capacities as the current chairs-in-office of the two Regional Consultative Processes on the management of overseas employment and contractual labour in Asia, the Colombo Process and the Abu Dhabi Dialogue, respectively. Sri Lanka assumed the chair of the Colombo Process, comprising 11 countries of origin in Asia, last October in Geneva. CP comprises Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, while ADD has a membership that includes all CP members, and additionally receiving countries Bahrain, Kuwait, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, United Arab Emirates and Yemen.


G-15 emphasizes need to address international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner


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Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha, Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva and Chairman of the Personal Representatives of the Group of Fifteen (G-15) has said the group recognizes the need to address international migration in a holistic and comprehensive manner, premised on the developmental paradigm of migration that is sensitive to the national circumstances of countries of origin, transit and destination and one that seeks to maximize the mutually beneficial nature of international migration while reducing its negative effects. He said the G-15 was committed to work together at both the regional and international level for the protection of migrants, and believed that the IOM should continue to play a lead role in discussions relating to the post-2015 development agenda on issues concerning migration.


SL to address regional mismatches on supply & demand in foreign employment throgh Colombo Process–Minister Dilan Perera

103 IOM counicl Hon Dilan Perera-s

Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion & Welfare Dilan Perera has said
Sri Lanka which recently assumed the Chairmanship of  the Colombo Process - the Regional Consultative Process on migration, will do its utmost to share its experience and bring together the eleven countries and nine observer countries of this group to address common interests, including the mismatches between supply and demand and applying ethical concepts to foreign employment management.  He said Sri Lanka will also play its full part in developing the post 2015 Millennium goal development architecture, emphasizing on Migration and Development.


Sri Lanka assumes leadership of the Colombo Process

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The Chairmanship of the Colombo Process wastransferred from the Government of Bangladesh to the Government of Sri Lanka during a meeting held at thePermanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Geneva on 21 October 2013.


SL says meaningful engagement not possible with pro-LTTE Diaspora seeking to prevent reconciliation

Sri Lanka's Ambassador to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha has said politically mobilized pro-LTTE diaspora sustain hatred and prevent reconciliation in Sri Lanka and that with groups having such a pre-disposition meaningful engagement was not possible. Noting that the transnational political opportunity structures prevalent in host states help shape and sustain such diaspora activism, he observed that countries which continue to condone with the hostility and disruptive tendencies shown by such pro-LTTE elements are giving a wrong signal.


Draft Migration Health Policy for Sri Lanka' to be submitted to Cabinet

Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ambassador Ravinatha Aryasinha addressing a Briefing on Migration and Healthheld at the International Organization on Migration (IOM) on 19th April 2013 has said the Government has readily recognized that migrants and their families left behind in Sri Lanka are vulnerable to migration related health challenges. Joint initiatives between the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), the Ministry of Health and IOM, have been established  to ensure that the health-abuse of migrants is effectively addressed. Following a series of public consultations the draft 'Migration Health Policy for Sri Lanka' is to be formalized through its submission to the Cabinet of Ministers for final approval.

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Foreign Govts. acknowledge that Sri Lankans who arrive illegally are economic migrants, not refugees

Addressing the 101st Council Session of the International Organization for Migration (IOM) in Geneva on Friday (30 November),Sri Lanka's Permanent Representative to the United Nations in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha has observed that emphasis by the international community that Sri Lanka is now free from the dangers that constrained it during the time of the conflict, has been an important factor for those who left the country as refugees during the time of the conflict to return, with the joint assistance of the host countries, and organizations such as the IOM.  However, at the same time illegal people-smuggling rings continue to rob families not only of their hard earned savings, but some times even their loved ones. Noting that the IOM, as well as a number of foreign governments, have in recent months acknowledged that the many Sri Lankans who continue to arrive on foreign soil illegally, are in fact economic migrants and not refugees, Ambassador Aryasinha said Sri Lanka remains committed to work with international partners toward raising awareness as to the dangers relating to illegal migration, with a view to end such practices.   Full text of statement is attached.

Bureau of Foreign Employment shares SL’s lessons-learned & future plans at IOM workshop in Geneva

Mr Amal Senalankadhikara, Chairman of the Bureau of Foreign Employment and Mr Devseth Fernando, Additional General Manager of the Bureau of Foreign Employment took to the main podium at the opening session of the intercessional workshop, titled ‘Protecting migrants during times of crisis : immediate responses and sustainable strategies’, organized by the international Organization for Migration. The event was organized in line with the international dialogue on migration (IDM) for 2012, which aims to focus on managing migration in crisis situations.


103rd session of the IOM Executive Committee 7-8 June 2006 Statement by the delegation of Sri Lanka (Mr. S. Pathirana, Second Secretary)

Opening remarks by Chairperson H.E. Mme Sarala Fernando at the undred and Third Session of the Executive Committee of IOM,  7th June, 2006

Mr. Director-General
distinguished delegates

I would like to thank you for my election to Chair this session of the Executive Committee.  I take it as an honour to my country which has recently joined the Executive Committee for the first time.  I also congratulate the Vice President Mr. Osvald Alvarez of Chile on his election.


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