Dr. Bilesha Weeraratne says GCM has potential to improve migrant worker conditions

11 November 2020

Dr. Bilesha Weeraratne, Research Fellow and Head of Migration and Urbanisation Research at IPS, said the UN’s Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM) has potential to improve the living and working conditions of Sri Lanka’s migrant workers. Dr. Weeraratne made this observation at the virtual launch of the UN Network on Migration in Sri Lanka by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN Resident Coordinator and 11 UN entities in Sri Lanka in partnership with the government.

“We have been struggling for many years to get the cooperation of other countries especially the countries of destination to get on board with our priorities – in particular to improve the living and working conditions of workers,” Dr. Weeraratne noted.

The focus of the launch was on identifying migration-related priorities for Sri Lanka. Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena was the Chief Guest. Foreign Secretary Admiral Prof. Jayanath Colombage, Director General of the Employers Federation of Ceylon Kanishka Weerasinghe, Deputy Head of Mission of the European Union Delegation for Sri Lanka and Maldives Thorsten Bargfrede, and Country Director of the International Labour Organization Simrin Singh also participated.

The overall aim of the Network is to promote migration policies that support the well-being of migrants and societies in a coherent, holistic and balanced manner, and aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).

The launch can be viewed on Facebook: