Project on Facilitating Legal Assistance to migrant workers and their families in Sri Lanka

Caritas SED Galle implemented the above Project in the year 2018/2019  in the three Districts of Galle, Matara and Hambantota.

We conducted several meetings and awareness sessions for the migrant workers and returnees relating to the correct procedure when migrating for employment abroad especially to middle east countries.

We had several meetings with the respective Divisional Secretaries and  District Officer of Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment to orient them by introducing the project goal and objectives and discussed the problems and issues faced by migrant workers and how Caritas can assist them with legal assistance. We obtained information relating to migrant workers through Development Officers of Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment attached to respective Divisional Secretaries and passed them to Caritas Sri Lanka take up the issues identified with the Ministry of Foreign Employment.

Some of the issues discussed were   how to migrate correctly after registering with the Foreign Employment Bureau, the benefits the migrant workers get when they register with Foreign Employment Bureau, obtaining training before departure, signing of service agreements with foreign sponsors etc. The correct procedure to submit complaints if any  relating to migrant workers/returnees  for legal assistance was also explained in detail.

These awareness sessions were conducted by the District Officer/Officer in charge of Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment and Caritas SED Galle Staff  for those who were planning to go abroad, mothers of pre-school children and Self-help Group members under the Food Security Project and Inter-religious Forum members under the Religious Amity Project.

A new Migrant Returnee Support Project ( namely A Glimmer of Hope for Migrants and their families) funded by Catholic Relief Services (CRS) was also implemented for four months. Under this Project, most vulnerable migrant returnees were assisted. The criteria for the selection of beneficiaries were those who returned after 1st March 2020,  families of dead migrants due to COVID-19, those returnees who were sick or disabled due to COVID-19, single parent -headed families and low income families of migrant returnees.