New rules to protect SL maids

23 September 2013 04:46 am - 8     - {{hitsCtrl.values.hits}}

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In an effort to ensure protection for its maids, the Sri Lankan Embassy in Oman has said that they will be hired only if they get a no-objection certificate from their husbands or their relatives.

The conduct of the husband, the number of infants and children, protection and education of children after their mother's arrival in Oman besides the age and health of the woman would be considered when issuing permission to go abroad for employment.

"We want to protect the rights of their workers' families also as some of them face problems such as harassment and delayed wages while their families back home face serious socio-economic problems. So we have decided not to hire them unless we get a no-objection certificate that they can maintain homes in their absence from the island," said M.M. Deshapriya, the Counsellor of Labour at Sri Lankan Embassy in Muscat. This no-objection certificate has to be endorsed by the local authority or by a senior government official before they can take up jobs.

There are currently 1.8 million migrant workers from Sri Lanka, mostly working in the Middle East, with around 30,000 employed in Oman. Of those in the Sultanate, 17,000 are working as housemaids.

Deshapriya also said that the Sri Lankan government has started using quota restrictions by foreign employment authorities to control and limit the recruitment of females by private manpower agencies. "In Sri Lanka, around 800 agencies will be given an annual quota and the allotment will depend on the grading they achieve during an annual assessment," he said.

He also said that the quota system will help minimise irregularities in recruitment and difficulties faced by workers while encouraging agencies to follow best practices.

Agencies are currently graded on a points-based system. "Though no agency has a five star rating but soon some will have one," he told Times of Oman on Thursday.

Earlier this year, the Sri Lankan government introduced electronic fingerprinting and biometric scanning for all housemaids prior to their departure from Sri Lanka to crack down on rampant fraud and other irregularities.

The new system helped to prevent fraudulent practices such as using forged passports and irregularities in the foreign employment sector.

For this, the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau (SLFEB) is using special software to store fingerprint data of the migrant workers going abroad for employment.

It is learnt that Sri Lanka government was forced to introduce this new system after several rackets came to light where the Sri Lankan nationals had secured employment in the Middle East by submitting forged certificates.

In December 2012, police officers of Colombo Fraud Bureau arrested four people, including a woman, from a house in Colombo, with 300 forged medical certificates. The raid revealed that these certificates were issued by various medical institutes.

Housemaids and those working in the hospitality industry in particular are required to undergo strict medical tests before being issued a work visa for countries like Oman.

"Now this fingerprinting system for migrant workers will help us in retaining their personal identification data for reference," M.M. Deshapriya added.

This system will also help job seekers who have to face huge difficulties in the event of losing their passports in those countries.

"The electronic fingerprinting system will also help in the ongoing blacklisting of migrant workers who return to Sri Lanka after being convicted for various offences. Most of these workers had been found guilty for allegedly over-staying visas, robbery, engaging in prostitution and flouting the laws of Oman," he added.  (Times of Oman)
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  Comments - 8

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  • Kiris Baba Amaray Monday, 23 September 2013 06:20 PM

    This is bull shit.

    Kiris Baba Amaray Monday, 23 September 2013 06:22 PM

    Foolish requirement of a "No Objection Certificate" from the husband, what nonesones... stupid ideas.

    Kiris Baba Amaray Monday, 23 September 2013 06:23 PM

    No sense at all. This is a Joke for the Year....

    mollamaari Monday, 23 September 2013 07:05 AM

    How will solve the real problems faced by the workers' families and or workers. most of these women go with the consent of their families or husband. So what is the problem with issuing a certificate??

    This is a clear discrimination against women!

    What a b******* is this without finding solutions for the real problems faced by these workers??

    Premalal Monday, 23 September 2013 07:06 AM

    These guys come up with dumb ideas. This is the 21st century. If you are interested in children as you should be, then stop mothers going as housemaids as India has done. Why can't you send the so called husband who is so shameless to sign his wife away for slavery? Some country!, some rulers!

    ANTON Monday, 23 September 2013 05:12 AM

    GOOD NEWS FOR HUSBANDS, THEY CAN CHARGE SOMETHING FROM WIVES FOR ISSUING THIS CERTIFICATE.

    fernado Monday, 23 September 2013 12:31 PM

    Sir ,please send more women to Saudi Arabia. We need dollars and People of Wamba and central endorsed it.

    OMG Monday, 23 September 2013 06:02 AM

    Human rights violation, and sexual discrimination.

    Navy Pilley where are you?


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