News: Resolution to protect migrant workers rights

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Melanie Orhant (
Wed, 23 Dec 1998 14:31:48 -0500

Resolution to protect migrant workers rights
Daily News (Sri Lanka), Wednesday, December 23, 1998

A resolution calling upon governments particularly of the SAARC sub region
to ratify the 1990 UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of all
Migrant Workers and their families was adopted at the International Migrant
workers' Day celebrations organised by the Migrant Services Centre of the
National Workers Congress at the Migrant Workers' Centre, Dehiwala on
December 18.

The program included a general meeting of representatives of migrant
workers, a panel discussion, a workshop and an exhibition of items produced
by migrant workers said a press release issued by Mr. A. Lodwick, Secretary
General of the National Workers Congress.

The release paid ILO Director Shizue Tomoda delivered the keynote address.
Among others present were Ove Chr Danbolt, Minister/Counsellor, Royal
Norwegian embassy, Marine Girvan, Counsellor, Development, CIDA, Bro. Noel
Rebello, BATU-SAARC/President Emeritus CFTUI, India and Mr. Ruhunuge of the
Foreign Employment Bureau.

Several other revolutions were also adopted, some of them called upon
governments, to adopt and implement measures to prevent exploitation of
migrants, negotiate with relevant authorities to ensure that provisions of
employment agreements are properly observed by employers and accepted and
recognised by the respective governments. Strengthen laws on foreign
employment to prevent exploitation, harassment and abuse of workers and
illegal trafficking of women, establish a Revolving Fund to meet costs of
migration in order to overcome indebtedness of workers and set up a legal
assistance fund and an office with a legal officer to meet costs of
intervention, conduct trials and attend to detention and custody of female
migrant workers in host countries.

Other resolutions called upon governments to adopt suitable measures to
improve avenues of employment in ones own country and provide skill
training and other facilities to reduce the need for migration to optimum
level and the United Nations compensation Commission to expedite payment of
compensation to Kuwait war victims.

The release said:

We call upon the united nations compensation commission to expedite payment
of compensation to Kuwait war victims and call upon the Government of Sri
Lanka to assist Kuwait war victims who are in distance on a priority basis
unite their compensation is awarded by UNCC".

The participants of the workshop made their own presentations through
drama, song, dance and verse on experiences and issues faced by women
migrant workers.

A unique feature of this celebration was a street drama presentation of
migrant issues by Darana Street Drama Group who toured the roads of Colombo
with their message to mark International Migrant Workers Day.

An exhibition of items produced by migrant worker associations in
association with the National Workers Congress was also held and prizes
were awarded to the best exhibits. Judging of the exhibits was done by the
ILO Director - Ms Tomoda and Ms Girvan , Counsellor Development of CIDA.

Migrants have been invited to display and sell the items produced by them
at the Jayasingha Hall, Dehiwela on 19th and 20th December 1998 to enable
the public to view the exhibits and make their purchases.

Melanie Orhant

Human Trafficking Program
Global Survival Network

P.O. Box 73214
Washington, DC 20009
T: 387-0028
F: 387-2590

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