Govt. to ban Lankans with children under 18 seeking foreign employment
Tuesday, 26 November 2013 00:47
Govt. to enforce extension of current ban to curb child abuse and juvenile delinquency
By Ashwin Hemmathagama – Our Lobby Correspondent
The Government has decided to prohibit Sri Lankans with children under 18 from travelling overseas for employment, striking a major blow to citizens seeking better paying work abroad, including the country’s 1.2 million migrant workers.
Minister of Child Development and Women’s Affairs Tissa Karaliyadda told Parliament yesterday that the Government was in discussion with the Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare to enforce the ban.
The Minister was responding to a question posed by UNP MP Rosy Senanayake who requested oral answers from the Government regarding the high incidence of child abuse in the island.
Parents with children under five years of age are already banned from leaving the country for employment overseas.
Minister Karaliyadda said that the new ban will be an extension of the existing prohibition and would be aimed at reducing juvenile delinquency and preventing child abuse.
Sri Lanka’s migrant worker population is the country’s single largest foreign currency earner. Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera said earlier this year that the Government expects migrant worker remittances to surge over $ 7 billion in 2013, an increase of at least $ 1 billion from the previous year.