Migration and Gender Outcomes: Analysis of Selected Policies in Sri Lanka
28 January 2019
IPS Research Fellow, Bilesha Weeraratne, recently published a Working Paper titled Migration and Gender Outcomes: Analysis of Selected Policies in Sri Lanka in the KNOMAD Working Paper Series. This paper analyses the implications of migration rules, regulations, and policies in Sri Lanka, in the country’s efforts to integrate gender perspectives into migration issues.
The study focuses on three policies: the imposition of maximum chargeable amounts that agents can collect for recruiting migrant workers, mandatory pre-departure training for migrants, and the Family Background Report (FBR) requirement. The study adopts a combined methodology, wherein an in-depth case study of Sri Lanka is developed based on data from key informant interviews and a review of the literature. This qualitative methodology is reinforced by a difference-in-differences analysis of the FBR policy. It finds that women’s increased access to migration brought about by the zero-chargeable policy is neutralized by the FBR requirement.
Dr. Weeraratne noted that ideally, the FBR policy should be revisited to strike a balance between women’s autonomy versus benefits to children left behind. As such, in addition to the multifaceted gender implications of migration policies, the study underscores the importance of coordination among policies to ensure optimal gender outcomes.