By Sherwani Synon
The 2010 US State Department Trafficking in Person’s Report has recommended that Sri Lanka investigate and prosecute suspected trafficking offences and convict and punish trafficking offenders particularly those who are responsible for recruiting victims with fraudulent offers of employment and excessive commission fees.
The report states that Sri Lanka does not fully comply with the minimum standards of elimination but is making a noteworthy effort to do so. The report also states that although the government has enacted a law that facilitates the prosecution of recruitment agencies engaged in fraudulent recruitment, it has made little progress in identifying trafficking victims.
As a result of these reasons, Sri Lanka has been placed on the Tier 2 Watch List in the 2010 Trafficking in Person’s Report. The reports also appreciated the efforts made by the Foreign Employment Bureau to conduct public outreach programs to warn people of the dangers of going abroad illegally and using unlicensed recruitment agencies to find employment. The government also carried out raids in 184 fraudulent foreign recruiting agencies and took legal against some of them.
Commenting on the report, the Chairman of the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau, Kingsley Ranawaka said that they conduct investigations when they receive complaints regarding fraudulent recruitment agencies and that they produce them to courts after they are arrested.
He added that they have even taken measures to increase the fine imposed on fraudulent agencies.
Ranawaka added that last year, the Foreign Employment Bureau made it mandatory for migrant workers to come and sign their agreements at the Bureau before they take up employment. He added that if there are any complaints to be made, migrant workers can easily gain access to the staff at the Foreign Employment Bureau to make their complaints. (Daily Mirror online)