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Foreign Employment Operations to Go Digital, Announces Labour Minister

Labour and Foreign Employment Minister Manusha Nanayakkara disclosed yesterday that the entire operations of Foreign Employment would soon undergo digitization, allowing migrant workers to coordinate through a dedicated mobile application. He mentioned that cabinet approval has been secured for this initiative.

Speaking to journalists in Matale during the Jayagamu Sri Lanka Programme, Minister Nanayakkara highlighted that digitizing Foreign Employment would enable the Foreign Employment Bureau to effectively combat unnecessary interference and handle illegal activities.

Furthermore, he emphasized that this digitalization effort would aid in eradicating traffickers and fraudsters from the foreign employment sector while enhancing communication between migrant workers and authorities.

Minister Nanayakkara stated, “It will also improve grievance handling procedures,” adding, “When the sector is digitized it will encompass everything from affairs at the embassy to the recruitment of employees and the SLBFE.”

He outlined the functionality of the proposed app, noting that every migrant worker would have it installed on their phone, facilitating coordination with the embassy and relevant personnel handling their issues. Additionally, distress signals from migrant workers would be promptly relayed to the Colombo office through the app.

Highlighting the potential of the digitized system, Minister Nanayakkara remarked, “When this system is established, a majority of problems in the sector can be solved.”

He also addressed the regulatory framework concerning sub-agents under the SLBFE Act, stating that amendments have been proposed to bring sub-agents under regulation similar to licensed agencies. These amendments are currently in the final phase with the Attorney General’s Department and will soon be presented in Parliament.

Minister Nanayakkara stressed the responsibility of agencies in overseeing sub-agents under the proposed amendment.

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