• Distressed Housemaids Return Home from the Middle East

    A group of women who went to the Middle East seeking employment have returned to the island after being subjected to various hardships abroad. Accordingly, 52 women have been brought back to Sri Lanka from Kuwait, with the intervention of the Ministry of Foreign Employment.

    According to the Ministry of Foreign Employment, a second group of about 70 is scheduled to arrive on the island in the evening today (24), bringing the total to 122.

    Source: Ayshwarya Yapa, Adaderana, May 24, 2017.

  • Embassy Officials Rescue SL Woman held Captive by Saudi Employer

    A  Sri Lankan woman, who was held in captive in Saudi Arabia by her employer, was released by the officials of Sri Lankan embassy in Riyadh, Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) said today. W.W Indrakanthi – a resident of Kandalama road, Dambulla who is the victim and her employer were summoned to the police station in Diriyah, Riyadh on Monday (22) for investigations. SLBFE said that SL embassy in Riyadh third Secretary W M S P Illangokoon has initiated the necessary investigations in this regard. The victim has gone abroad in 2015 as a housemaid on a two year contract. However the investigations have revealed that the employer was keeping her by force more than 2 months after her service contract expired in March 2017. The employer had forced her to donate a kidney to her wife who is suffering from a kidney ailment. (Thilanka Kanakarathna) –

    Source: Daily Mirror, 2017-05-23,

  • Sri Lanka’­s middle-income status preserved by housemaids and unskilled labour

    Migrant worker remittances have mainly contributed to the surplus in the nation’s secondary income account which is earned by unskilled and housemaid categories, the Central Bank’s Annual Report 2016 reveals.

    CBSL Annual Report further notes that the surplus in the secondary income account mainly backed by these worker remittances has helped in cushioning the deficit in the trade and primary income accounts of the current account .

    According to statistics housemaids and unskilled workers account for 56 per cent of total Sri Lankan expatriate workers. Worker remittances which account for the majority of inflows to the secondary income account as the key source of private transfers have grown at a modest rate of 3.7 per cent to US dollars7,242 million, as against the decline of 0.5 per cent observed in 2015.

    The Central Bank, however, states that a shift in skill levels of migrant labour can be observed over the years due to the steps taken in a strategic direction by the authorities since 2008 towards the concept of “Safe, Skilled Migration”.

    Still, according to 2016 foreign employment statistics only 2.7 per cent of worker departures were under the professional categories, which is a marginal improvement compared to 2.4 per cent recorded in 2015.

    Meanwhile, middle level manpower categories have increased by 12.2 per cent although departures in all other categories recorded a decline in 2016 due to the global economic slowdown.

    Although a notable increase in departures to South Korea was also observed in 2016, still 97 per cent of these departures com-prised unskilled workers.

    These developments reflect the scope for continued efforts towards encouraging and increasing ‘Safe, Skilled Migration’ of skilled categories pushing for a decline in housemaid and unskilled categories. Such efforts will lead to a healthy trend of inward remittances from skilled categories, the Central Bank states.



    A national centre has been set up in the Kilinochchi district to provide support services to widows and female headed households in the Northern and Eastern Provinces.


  • Are women adequately represented in Parliament?

    Another election, another government beckons us. As is always the case with us Lankans, we have found ourselves besotted with the race. Each one has his or her favourites and now and then we have heard lip service paid to the usual issues.
     Many a time I have heard the importance of adequate female representation in the parliament but it seems to be limited to just that – talk. Sure enough, we do have some women among the ranks of legislatures but whether they represent female interests, adequately or not, remains the big question mark

    Daily Mirror Article – Readmore

  • Domestic Workers Challenge Gazette Notification

    The Domestic Workers Union has filed an appeal in the Supreme Court against the omission of local domestic workers from the gazette notification that was published on January 18. They state that the minimum wage for those drawing a monthly salary should be Rs. 10,000 and the minimum daily wage should be Rs. 400. According to the Joint Secretary of the Domestic Workers Union Ananthi Sivasubramanium there are over 100,000 domestic workers employed throughout the country. The Union was formed in 2012 and has a membership over 2,000 registered domestic workers. By allowing the registration of the union to take place, the domestic trade has been recognised as an accepted profession, entitling them to the minimum wage stipulated in the gazette notification said Sivasubramanium.

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