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Sri Lanka Calls for Strengthened Laws to Protect Migrant Rights at UNHRC Session

Sri Lanka urged the international community to strengthen laws and policies safeguarding migrant rights during a recent UN Human Rights Council (UNHRC) session.

Dilini Lenagala, representing Sri Lanka, emphasized the critical need for robust legal frameworks to protect migrant workers, particularly in light of their inherent vulnerabilities.

She acknowledged the valuable contributions migrants make to host countries’ economies and societies. However, she highlighted concerns raised in a UN Special Rapporteur report regarding the exploitation and abuse faced by migrant workers due to their vulnerable position.

To address these issues, Sri Lanka stressed the importance of comprehensive legislation and clear policies. These frameworks would ensure the rights and dignity of all migrant workers are upheld, regardless of their situation.

“In 2023, Sri Lanka developed the National Policy and Action Plan on Migration for Employment and launched the Integrated Guidance and Referral System to provide opportunities for potential migrant workers. Responding to a long-awaited need, the Office for Overseas Sri Lankan Affairs was established in 2023 for mutually beneficial cooperation,” she added. “As more and more people resort or are compelled to migrate due to political, economic, and social factors further exacerbated by climate change, it is essential that migrants’ rights are upheld and safeguarded.”

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