Most Employment-related Issues of Internal Migrants Remain Unresolved – Dr Bilesha Weeraratne

7 June 2021

Although the government has implemented relief measures such as allowing uninterrupted work for sectors with high internal migrants, most employment-related issues faced by internal migrants and commuters remain unresolved according to Dr Bilesha Weeraratne, Research Fellow and Head of Migration and Urbanisation Research at IPS.

Speaking at the KASpaces Sri Lanka Webinar on ‘COVID-19 and Internal Migration in Sri Lanka’ Dr Weeraratne said that COVID-19 has had a severe impact on internal migrations, which is vital for the development of sustainable cities, and is also a source of livelihood for people from rural areas. Some of the issues that have arisen due to the lockdowns relate to employment, public transportation, residency and returning home.

Dr Weeraratne noted that cities thrive due to the combination of locals, internal migrants and commuters. Therefore, relief measures have to be implemented for recovery from the COVID-19 shock. Further, these measures have to be sensitive to the heterogeneity of communities in cities.

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