Sri Lanka gears up for a comprehensive social security reformation inspired by Indonesian Model

(LANKAPUVATH | COLOMBO) – A distinguished Sri Lankan delegation led by Secretary of the Ministry of Labor and Foreign Employment. R.P.A. Wimalaweera, embarked on a four-day study tour to Indonesia from September 4-7, 2023 to assess that country’s employment social security system.

The primary objective of the study tour was to draw insights from Indonesia’s exemplary journey in establishing a holistic social security framework, placing specific emphasis on their acclaimed unemployment insurance mechanism.

This immersive experience granted the delegation the privilege to meticulously understand the nuances of Indonesia’s social welfare blueprint. Through in-depth dialogues, collaborative knowledge exchange, and observational studies, the team garnered invaluable insights. These lessons promise to profoundly influence and shape the evolution of Sri Lanka’s own social security system.

One of the landmark outcomes from this educational voyage is Sri Lanka’s prospective launch of a comprehensive national social security model. A noteworthy feature of this initiative is the introduction of an unprecedented unemployment insurance scheme. The goal is clear: to fortify a more robust, just, and secure employment landscape for Sri Lankans across both formal and informal sectors.

Manusha Nanayakkara, Minister of Labor and Foreign Employment, expressed his gratitude to the International Labor Organization (ILO) for orchestrating such an enriching learning experience in Indonesia. He further emphasized the Sri Lankan government’s staunch commitment to mirroring similar successes in their homeland.

Post the tour, a debriefing session ensued, resulting in the identification of pivotal action points:

1. Disseminating the knowledge acquired from the Indonesian visit amongst top-tier governmental Secretaries.
2. Drafting a comprehensive Cabinet Note that encapsulates the fundamental design facets of the envisioned social security program, which encompasses financial, legal, and operational dimensions.
3. Elevating the design outline and proposal for the scrutiny of the Presidential Social Protection Committee.
4. Launching an expansive awareness drive, aiming to enlighten the citizenry about the impending transformative social welfare changes.

Ms. Simrin Singh, ILO’s Country Director for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, extended her commendations to the Sri Lankan government, employers’ associations, and trade unions. She celebrated their unanimous and prompt endeavor in architecting a robust social security infrastructure for the nation.

To encapsulate, these strategic initiatives reflect Sri Lanka’s holistic vision for labor and foreign employment sector reformation, centralizing on social welfare. The approach underscores not just administrative leadership but also accentuates the importance of public engagement and multi-stakeholder participation – ingredients pivotal to the fruition of such landmark ventures.


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