The International Organization on Migration (IOM) has expressed readiness to further enhance its assistance to Sri Lanka, by providing training and capacity building support for the Ministries of Foreign Employment and Foreign Affairs, and to the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLBFE). It was agreed to extend cooperation in the areas of countering human trafficking and people smuggling operations, providing short-term internship opportunities with the IOM for the relevant officials as well as supporting the upgrading of the consular services of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The IOM also pledged to continue technical and secretarial support for the Colombo Process (CP) - the regional consultative forum of contractual labour originating countries in Asia, currently chaired by Sri Lanka.
These assurances were given when Minister of Foreign Employment Thalatha Atukorale who was in Geneva last week to attend the 6th Global Meeting of Chairs and Secretaries of Regional Consultative Processes on Migration met with the Director General of IOM Ambassador William Lacy Swing, to discuss and follow up progress on Sri Lanka’s bilateral cooperation with the IOM. Sri Lanka’s Permanent Representative to the UN in Geneva Ravinatha Aryasinha, Deputy Permanent Representative Samantha Jayasuriya, Counsellor Shashika Somaratne, and Acting Deputy General Manager of the Foreign Employment Bureau D.G.G.S. Yapa, were associated with the Minister.
At a meeting of the Geneva based Ambassadors’ of CP countries chaired by Ambassador Aryasinha, Minister Atukorala who is the Chair in Office of the CP also discussed on the operationalization of the ‘Colombo Declaration’ adopted at the 5th CP Ministerial Meeting held in Sri Lanka in August 2016. The Ambassadors while appreciating the leadership provided by Sri Lanka to the CP over the past 3 years, expressed support to the new thematic areas agreed at the Ministerial Meeting namely, Migrant Health, Operationalization of the migration-related goals in the SDGs, Promotion of equality for women migrant workers and Consular support for migrant workers in host countries.
Earlier in the day, addressing the 6th Global Meeting of Chairs and Secretaries of Regional Consultative Processes on Migration held in Geneva, Minister Atukorale said, Sri Lanka is providing leadership for the CP to be a bridge between labour sending and receiving countries fostering strong partnership for the Asian region. She said “the CP will soon agree on the role it can play in supporting the overall implementation of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) related to migration with a specific focus on contractual labour migrants”, “benefitting from the experience of having worked on issues such as ethical labour recruitment, migrant health and remittances over the past 2 years under the initial five thematic areas developed as a road map for Sri Lanka’s Chairmanship on the overall theme “International Labour Migration for Prosperity: Adding Value by Working Together.” The Minister also said “in the forthcoming negotiations on developing the ‘Global Compact on Migration by 2018’ the CP should be ready to engage constructively, building on the SDGs framework.”
Press Release in PDF
Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka
17th October 2016
Pixs : 01. Sri Lanka - IOM meeting
02. Minister Thalatha Atukorale meeting Colombo Process PRs based in Geneva.