Chairman, PREDO, Nuwara Eliya, Sri Lanka
[Account of Mr. Michael Joachim, Chairman, PREDO (Sri Lanka), who was part of the group that visited Jordan during the first week of October 2015].
Two teams of SDC partner representatives visited Jordan and Lebanon to acquire first-hand knowledge and experience of the situation of Sri Lankan migrant workers, especially domestic housemaids. A representative of the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) also joined each of the groups. Both groups met and discussed with the respective Sri Lankan Ambassador and officials in each of the countries, along with religious organizations, representatives of the Recruiting Agents Association, trade unions, women’s organizations looking after the interest of migrant women workers, legal aid organizations, lawyers, domestic workers solidarity networks, the Criminal Investigation Department in charge of human trafficking, representatives of the ILO and SDC and other relevant stake holders. The visit enabled the groups to gain a wealth of knowledge and understanding of the real situation in the two countries, the relevance of pre-departure advice given to the migrants locally, and how migrants can use this information during their stay overseas. Some of the important learnings appearing below could be considered as recommendations:
There are many more important lessons learnt – and the main outcome of the visit is that SDC partners realized that the strategies currently adopted need to be reviewed and revised, as well as In addition, advocacy initiatives need to be pursued to press for change in policies relating to migrants, especially for domestic workers.