Lanka committed to migrant worker protection

CPSOM_Colombo1A two-day Senior Officials’ Meeting of the Colombo Process (CP) held in Colombo has resulted in far reaching concrete decisions and recommendations aimed at advancing collective efforts for safe and skilled labour migration management by sending countries in Asia, the Government said.

These include the setting up of a Colombo Process Technical Support Unit (CP TSU) in Colombo, to provide support to all the CP countries in pursuing the goals and actions set in the current thematic priorities of the CP and any other areas that the CP would agree to in the future.

Minister of Foreign Employment of Sri Lanka and Chair-in-Office of the Colombo Process Thalatha Atukorale emphasized the importance of migrant workers’ contributions to economic development in both home and host countries. She reiterated Sri Lanka’s commitment as CP Chair-in-Office to work towards the well being of all migrant workers of Asia, and to leverage the support of other Regional Migration Processes, as well as regional and international groups of nations and civil societies to achieve this goal.

G.S. Withanage, Secretary to the Ministry of Foreign Employment of Sri Lanka highlighted the theme of the Sri Lankan Chairmanship of the CP, “International Labour Migration for Prosperity: Adding Value by Working Together and the focus of the CP to protect and uphold the rights of migrant workers in the region”.

Ravinatha Aryasinha, the Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the UN in Geneva in his capacity as the Chair of the Geneva-based CP Member States, highlighted the effective collaboration and action-oriented role of the CP Geneva-based Permanent Representatives and experts to develop concrete actions and deliverables to improve the lives of migrant workers through five thematic areas.

He said during Sri Lanka’s chairmanship, beyond the tangible results from the identified areas for cooperation, the CP had also strengthened its operational modalities, worked towards self funding, and also enhanced cooperation with other groups, including with the ADD, the EU through the Asia-EU Dialogue, and the GFMD. He said the CP countries had shown that being competitors for the same markets and competing national interests had not stood in the way of collective action, and that contrary to the conventional wisdom, cooperation in the field of migration must not necessarily be a ‘zero-sum-game’.


During the meeting which was hosted by the Ministry of Foreign Employment of Sri Lanka with technical and financial assistance from the International Organization for Migration (IOM), active discussions took place among the representatives of the CP Member States on five thematic areas, regards which detailed action plans containing the objectives, envisaged tangible actions, and timelines for expected outcomes are being operationalized, in consultation with IOM, and with the support of the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) and the International Labour Organization (ILO). (Colombo Gazette)