The COVID-19 pandemic emerged as a public health crisis, and morphed into a global economic crisis, with severe impacts on commercial activity, employment, and trade. In Sri Lanka, the pandemic has affected revenue streams of many businesses in the country. The impact is more harshly felt by unprotected workers. This blog discusses key issues that need to be rectified in Sri Lanka’s labour market policies to face similar emergencies in the future.
Repatriation and Replacement of Lost Foreign Jobs: Handling Labour Migration in Sri Lanka during COVID-19
Sri Lanka, which has been sending workers abroad for employment for decades, is now faced with the formidable challenge of repatriating large numbers of migrant workers affected by COVID-19. This exercise calls for a continued coordination with the returnees, beyond the period of travel and quarantine. This blog dissects the nuances of labour migration, lost foreign employment opportunities, and repatriation brought about by the spread of COVID-19 and provides policy recommendations to successfully re-enter foreign labour markets.
The first ever “Labour Demand Survey” in Sri Lanka recorded nearly half a million vacancies in the private sector. A large portion of these vacancies are found to be in routine and non-routine manual jobs. However, most of Sri Lanka’s job-seekers are educated youth, searching for white-collar jobs. This blog discusses “sectoral mismatch” between the demand and supply of labour in Sri Lanka, using LDS data, and looks at ways in which it can be resolved.
Female migrant workers make a vital contribution to the Sri Lankan economy, mainly through remittances. However, this economic gain often comes at a heavy social cost on the children they leave behind. This article highlights the discriminatory nature of the recent restriction on labour migration of mothers.
Reintegration programmes must start working with migrants before they depart, continue to work with them during their time abroad and on their return, argues a new IPS study.