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Legal Aid for Migrant Workers

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Migrant Workers Desk

Sri Lankan workers who migrate to Middle East and other countries have become victims of various difficulties, both in Sri Lanka and overseas, due to lack of knowledge of the basic labour laws of their own country as well as the host country. The situation is compounded by absence of accessible legal aid for these workers before departure and upon return.

Currently expatriate workers send over Rs.300,000 Million in 2008as foreign exchange and it is the responsibility of the State and civil society to provide necessary legal protection to migrant workers, specially the females. The Legal Aid Commission of Sri Lanka has considered the gravity and the urgency of the situation, and decided to set up a Migrant Workers’ Desk. The main objectives of this Desk is –

  • Provide free legal aid assistance to migrant workers prior to departure, during their stay abroad and upon return.
  • To brief the departing migrant about the legal conditions in the countries of destinations and what actions they could take in the case if violation of rights.
  • To liaise with the Consular Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and the Foreign Employment Bureau.
  • To promote the rights under the 1990 UN Convention on Migrant Workers at the village level.
  • Counseling.

The Migrant Workers Desk is headed by T.M.Lilanthi Kumari, Attorney-at-Law who has conducted several awareness programs relating to migrant workers in order to safeguard their safety, rights and interests.

LAC is hoping to set up a Legal Aid Branch at the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau in order to assist the poor migrant workers more effectively and to avoid inordinate delays.


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Organization Information

Legal Aid Commission of Sri Lanka

No 129,
Hulftsdorp Street,
Colombo 12.

Ms. Harshini Balaharuwa
Fax Nos:0094-11-2433618

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Last Updated On: 2009-11-02 12:15:10
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