Sri Lanka not to permit mothers with children under 2 years old to work abroad

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) states that it is mandatory for women who go abroad for work to certify by an affidavit that they have made arrangements for the protection of their minor children when registering with the Bureau.

The Ministry of Labor and Foreign Employment has issued a new circular in this regard. This circular has been issued as per the decision taken in the Cabinet meeting held on 27.06.2022.

Accordingly, this new amendment does not allow mothers with children under 2 years of age to work abroad, and such women are also not allowed to register with the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment.

Also, women going abroad for work, when registering with the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau, must declare that they have/don’t have children and mothers with unmarried children above two years of age and below 18 years of age must provide an affidavit certified by the Grama Niladhari Officer to the Divisional Secretariat attesting that measures have been taken for the safety and education of their children.

The completed documents should also be certified by the Development Officer (Foreign Employment) attached to the Divisional Secretariat and the information about the recommendation or rejection by the officer for the travel abroad should be confirmed to the Bureau through a telephone short message (SMS).

However, according to the circular issued by the Ministry Secretary, women who have been registered with the bureau and come back to Sri Lanka with re-entry visas after working overseas and women who return to overseas within 6 months after coming back to Sri Lanka have been exempted from providing this report.

Especially, women who have not been registered with the Bureau before must provide the report, otherwise they will not have any chance to go abroad for work. According to the new amendment, the Bureau informs that this program will be implemented from 19 August 2022.

In addition to this, even though the women over 45 years of age had been removed from these restrictions, they must complete the documents required to obtain Bureau registration from 19 August 2022.

This process is simply a step taken to successfully carry out the care and education work of children of migrant mothers, the Bureau says.

Furthermore, it is expected to identify the family members who are willing to take responsibility for the children during the period of overseas service, and implement the plans that have been prepared to provide those concessions in a more efficient manner to those families who are identified as needing special intervention/relief from the Ministry or Bureau officials.

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