Decent work, protection and well-being for migrant workers and their families in Sri Lanka
The programme aims to maximise the benefits of migration for sustainable development in Sri Lanka. It will support government institutions and other actors in implementing policies related to fair and ethical recruitment, skills development and provide reintegration support for returning migrants in the wake of the COVID-19 crisis. A special focus is placed on elevating migrant workers’ voices in advocacy. The intervention creates entry points to engage with the newly elected government in Sri Lanka.
Migration generally (development aspects and partnerships)
- International Labor Organization
- Other international or foreign NGO North
|Background||Labour migration is a key contributor to Sri Lanka’s economy. It also provides the rural poor with economic perspectives and reduces domestic employment pressure. In 2019, remittances flows amounted to 6.7 billion USD, a volume making up seven per cent of the country’s Gross Domestic Product. Currently, two million Sri Lankans work overseas, primarily in the Gulf States, where low and semi-skilled workers in the domestic, construction and hospitality sectors are high on demand. While labour migration has opened up opportunities, it also poses serious protection challenges such as fraudulent hiring practices, illegal wage deductions and excessive working hours. In addition, the recent outbreak of COVID-19 has resulted in mass layoffs and increased the vulnerabilities of migrant workers, many of whom are stranded in the Countries of Destination. Over 40,000 migrant workers are awaiting repatriation from the Gulf States and need reintegration support.|
|Objectives||Sri Lankan women and men migrant workers and their families have improved their well-being and contribute positively to society and their country|
Primary: Women and men migrant workers and their families of all ethnic groups, relevant Government authorities, vocational training institutes and civil society.
Secondary: Licensed Foreign Employment Agents, private sector (i.e. employers and financial institutions), Trade Unions.
The new phase will: (1) Capacitate government institutions to effectively implement labour migration policies and overall governance structures in the sector; (2) Mobilise migrant workers societies composed of returning migrants to provide community-support and to speak up for their rights; (3) Increase interest and access for skilled (foreign) employment.
- Foreign Employment Ministry’s systems
- The Government of Sri Lanka develops
- Women and men migrant workers receive
- Migrant workers’ contributions in policy
- Women and men migrant workers access
- Vocational Training Instructors understand
Results from previous phases:
The Sri Lanka Labour Migration Programme has supported the implementation of the National Labour Migration Policy putting particular emphasis on the provision of specialised services for migrant workers at the district level (pre-departure, protection and justice services).
- Important advances were made in the implementation.
- Returning migrants could play a more active role in service delivery
- A pilot intervention under Phase 3 connecting migrant workers with
- COVID-19 outbreak highlights the Sri Lankan government’s lack of
|Directorate/federal office responsible||
International or foreign NGO
United Nations Organization (UNO)
Main Government counterparts: Foreign Employment Division of Ministry of Skills Development, Labour Relations and Employment
Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment. Other relevant state and non-state actors including civil society organisations, trade unions and the recruitment industry.
|Coordination with other projects and actors||
Decent Work portfolio of the Global Programme Migration and Development such as the South Asia and Middle East regional programme on labour migration, Global Solutions and more.
Synergies are created with regional programmes of the International Labour Organisation and International Organisation for Migration as well as SDC South Cooperation programmes in the region.
|Budget||Current phase Swiss budget CHF 4’650’000 Swiss disbursement to date CHF 926’770|
|Project phases||Phase 4 01.09.2020 - 31.08.2024 (Current phase) Phase 3 01.03.2016 - 31.12.2020 (Completed)|