Monday, 21 November 2011

Sri Lanka to increase numbers of migrant domestic workers

Alive or Beheaded this Maid is a Heroine
By Aditya Alles Sri Lanka, Nov 14, 2011 (IPS)

Senior minister Sarath Amunugama believes that if Sri Lanka doubles the number of people working overseas to around three million, it could quickly decrease national poverty levels in this island nation with an economy recovering from decades of ethnic conflict.

"One of the shortest ways to grow and to get out of poverty is to encourage migration from 1.6 million now to three million," said Amunugama at the launch of the U.N. Population Fund's annual report on Oct. 31.

Economists estimate that domestic workers contribute at least 30 percent of the over four billion dollars repatriated annually to this country and provide a vital lifeline to the economy.

There is, however, a price to be paid. Many of the women are known to suffer severe abuse at the hands of their employers – two of them returned to the island from the Middle East last year with nails hammered into their bodies.

Read the full article here.

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