The Special Rapporteur on the human rights of migrants, François Crépeau, will brief the UN Human Rights Council next month on his mission to Sri Lanka last year.
The 29th session of the UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) will be held from June 13 to July 3 in Geneva.
Crépeau is to present his annual report to the Council at the session and it includes a briefing on his mission to Sri Lanka in May last year.
In his report on Sri Lanka following his visit last year, Crépeau noted that while migration plays a key role in the economic development of Sri Lanka, many Sri Lankan migrants experience abuse and exploitation, which often begins during the recruitment process.
The Special Rapporteur understands the importance of remittances to the Sri Lankan economy, but he insists that this should not trump the rights of migrants.
“It is therefore important to make sure attention is paid to the protection of migrants, not just the promotion of migration. More focus could be placed on creating jobs in Sri Lanka, rather than focusing mainly on promoting labour migration, thus training people to leave the country. The creation of income generating opportunities in Sri Lanka, especially for women, youth and minorities, including in rural areas, would contribute to ensuring that migration is a choice, rather than a necessity. At the same time, Sri Lankans who wish to migrate have the right to do so; leaving any country including one’s own is a human right. This right applies equally to men and women,” he said in his report.
He has also made some recommendations to Sri Lanka to address some of the concerns related to migrants. (Colombo Gazette)