Three women’s organizations requested the Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment Manusha Nanayakkara to digitize the foreign employment sector in order to put a stop to human smuggling and ensure the safety of women migrant workers.
While pointing out that the foreign employment sector brings much needed foreign revenue to the country and a large number of Sri Lankan women are employed abroad, the organizations pointed out that digitizing the sector was imperative to root out corruption and malpractices and ensure the safety of women migrant workers.
The Minister responded positively to the request by the three organizations.
The Village Women’s Front, Jasmine Women’s Organization and Galle Business Women’s Forum jointly handed over a memorandum to the Minister today (24) making a written request to digitize the field of foreign employment.
It is stated in the letter addressed to the minister that their organizations have been dealing with expatriate women workers for a long time and that they are making this request to ensure the safety of Sri Lankan female migrant workers.
The women’s organizations informed the minister that through digitization, it will be possible to further develop the field of foreign employment, and ensure the protection of migrant workers. They said it will also help in providing speedy resolutions to the problems faced by the migrant workers.
The organizations pointed out that by digitizing the field of foreign employment, it will be possible to monitor online the process from applying for a foreign job until securing employment and going abroad for work, which will be transparent and fast.
Such a mechanism they pointed out can put a stop to the activities of fraudsters and human smugglers who prey on innocent job seekers looking for greener pastures abroad.
After accepting the organization’s request, the minister told the media:
We received a request to digitize the sector to ensure the safety of women going abroad from Sri Lanka, to prevent deficiencies, errors, corruption and malpractices in the field of foreign employment. These people demanded to digitize the foreign employment sector and change the existing system to ensure holistic development. These people are a group that has always raised their voice highlighting the difficulties faced by migrant workers including the incident involving Rizana Nafeeq. They urged us to embrace new technology and a more transparent method of recruitment like other countries of the world to prevent such incidents from happening again.
As the ministry, we assure you that we will take the necessary measures after getting the cabinet approval for this. May be it is one or two people who get into trouble from hundreds of thousands of people who go abroad. But we cannot allow even one person to get into trouble and that is our policy. Also, the foreign employment bureau, the ministry needs a system where we can provide help speedily. We accept this proposal as a viable one. We hope to do it soon. Then there will be no room for people who commits fraud and corruption in the field of foreign employment.