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45 complaints per day from migrant workers

2014 Jan 08

By Chrishanthi Christopher
 
 
The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), said it receives around 45 complaints each day, from domestic migrant workers.
 
 
Speaking to Ceylon Today, SLBFE General Manager, Mangala Randeniya, said the complaints were being made to the respective Sri Lankan foreign missions...
... in the countries where Sri Lankans are employed as migrant workers and they mostly include non-payment of wages, renewal of contracts without consent and persecution and physical abuse.
 
 
He said complaints are mostly made by the domestic workers in Saudi Arabia and the other Middle Eastern countries, where the most number of domestic workers are concentrated while others include workers in Singapore, Israel, Hong Kong and Malaysia. The categories include housemaids, houseboys, drivers, cleaners, janitors and gardeners.
 
 
Randeniya added that due to the delay in ironing out issues, there used to be a backlog of complaints and that they had over thousands of complaints unsolved. However, he said the SLBFE had started a programme wherein the relevant agencies responsible for sending the worker, should investigate and report to the SLBFE immediately. "They have to report to us within 48 hours of the complaint and we take them up from there and settle issues within two weeks," he said.
 
 
The programme was started in August 2013 and has greatly reduced the backlog of complaints, almost by half. "We used to have around 1,500 complaints before, but it has now almost halved to around 800 complaints, at any given time," he said.
Randeniya said apart from the complaints received by the missions abroad, the Bureau also receives around 15 complaints locally from the relatives of the workers. "We receive around 20 complaints daily," he added.

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