Protecting the Welfare of Children and its Causal Effect on Limiting Mother’s Labour Migration

In June 2013 Sri Lanka introduced a new policy – the Family Background Report (FBR) to restrict mothers migrating for domestic work. This study performs an impact evaluation of this new policy based on monthly departure statistics of female migrant workers from January 2012 to December 2014. The analysis adopts a difference-in-difference methodology. The identification of the treatment effect is based on the inter-temporal variation between the treatment and control groups. As anticipated the FBR has a negative causal effect on female departures for foreign employment in the range of 449 – 812 departures per month. Though successful in restricting females migrating for domestic work, this policy promotes migration outside the institutional framework of Sri Lanka and thereby increases their vulnerability at destination. For the policy initiative to be effective its myopic focus has to be transformed into a long term plan to support those deterred from migrating.

Research team

Bilesha Weeraratne
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