Wednesday, October 14, 2009

Lanka to combat violence against female migrant workers

Sri Lanka told the UN yesterday that combating violence against female migrant workers is the high priority of the Sri Lankan government as violence against women migrant workers persists and undocumented women migrant workers remain particularly vulnerable to violence, exploitation and discrimination.

“We strongly support efforts by UN agencies to promote targeted measures including strengthening of contractual agreements, control over recruitment agencies, information campaigns besides efforts to encourage Member States to implement relevant legislation. We have also recently developed a National Labour Migration Policy, which inter alia, seeks to protect human rights of female migrant workers. Sri Lanka has also been successful in negotiating bilateral agreements with several countries to which we send our migrant workers to ensure their welfare and protection,” Minister of Disaster Management and Human Rights Mahinda Samarasinghe told the UN General Assembly in New York yesterday.

Addressing the third Committee of the Advancement of Women at the UN General Assembly the Minister also said that political accommodation through an inclusive reconciliation process will be the final component in the Government’s efforts to finally end nearly three decades of conflict.

He said that to guide and give direction to the overall process of national healing, reconciliation and political accommodation of all Sri Lankans within a unified democratic framework, a multi-party Committee on Development and Reconciliation has been convened by the President.

“The forum reflects the Government’s commitment to a pluralistic and inclusive approach in addressing post-conflict challenges. The present focus of this Committee is on the immediate concerns relating to IDPs. With the gradual restoration of democracy and the resuscitation of institutions of representative governance as we have seen in the East and subsequently in the North, the Committee’s deliberations are expected to set in motion a home-grown process aimed at ensuring long term stability through the addressing of legitimate political and developmental needs of the people in those areas,” the Minister said.

He also said that the approximately 10,000 ex-combatants who are undergoing rehabilitation must be given continued attention and their reintegration into civilian life to complement the attempts at normalization and reconciliation launched by the President, are the two final components of the integrated strategy that the Government has put in place.

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