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Religious Unrest Continues in Sri Lanka

An attack was launched by a Buddhist mob against a Mosque in Colombo on Saturday August 10th 2013, just one day after Muslims celebrated “Eid Ul Fitr”. At least 12 people were injured in scuffles that broke out during the siege. The reason for the attack was based on the claim that the new three-storey structure on […]

Safe migration of women for overseas employment

According to the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), it is estimated that over 1.7 Million Sri Lankans work overseas and had remitted approximately US $ 4.1 Billion in 2010. This is by far the highest foreign exchange earner for Sri Lanka, providing 33 percent of foreign exchange and 8 percent of GDP. Women are the main foreign exchange earners in Sri Lanka, as they constitute the bulk of those employed in garment factories, in the plantation sector and as housemaids in the Middle East.

 

The Secretariat for Muslims aims to create an environment for Muslim women and their families that will enable them to make informed choices when considering migration for employment, in accordance with internationally recognized safe migration practices.

 

Low income families often focus only on the potential economic benefits from overseas employment. This is due to their lack of knowledge of safe migration practices and the milieu in the labour receiving countries. In addition to which they do not necessarily take into consideration the impact of the absence of the mother on the family, and the vulnerability of children to abuse and exploitation.

 

SFM through its partner organizations will educate families on making informed choices with regard to sending their women for overseas employment after analysing the pros and cons and also considering the option of finding alternative means of livelihood activities. Women who decide to migrate for employment should also be able to obtain the most appropriate skills training and receive education on the cultural challenges they will face in a foreign country as part of safe migration practices.