Discussion on facilitating repatriation of migrant workers

Modalities to issue temporary travel documents to undocumented workers abroad following proper authentication procedures has been agreed on by the Department of Immigration and Emigration, said the Ministry of Foreign Relations in a statement.

This follows consultations between the Ministry of Foreign Relations, Ministry of Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations and Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE).

It is intended to facilitate the repatriation of migrant workers, once the Government decides on a timeline for their repatriation, the statement read further.

This was discussed at a meeting convened on Monday (04) by the Minister of Foreign Relations, Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations, Dinesh Gunawardena with the relevant line agencies.

The interest expressed through the ‘Contact Sri Lanka’ portal by migrant workers to return and the amnesties presently declared by Kuwait and Jordan has been viewed during the meeting.

The vulnerability faced by migrant workers, particularly in the Maldives, and possible measures to address it, has been discussed.

In the meantime, the programme implemented by the Foreign Ministry and the SLBFE to provide dry rations to the Sri Lankan migrant communities most affected has also been assessed.

Minister Gunawardena hasbriefed those present on the negotiations that have taken place with the foreign governments concerned and efforts being made to be responsive to these governments, while ensuring that any repatriation remains consistent with the ongoing quarantine process.

Foreign Secretary Ravinatha Aryasinha, Senior Additional Secretary (Development) of the Ministry of Skills Development, Employment and Labour Relations Sujeewa Thissera, Controller General of Department of Immigration & Emigration Sarath Rupasiri, Chairman of Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment Kamal Ratwatte, and other Senior Officials, had attended the meeting.

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