Domestic workers

Sri Lanka revises minimum age for migrant domestic workers

COLOMBO (News 1st); Sri Lanka has decided to raise the minimum age for migrant domestic workers to 21 years.

A document from the Department of Government Information says the Cabinet of Ministers granted permission to revise the said age limit, after considering the recommendations of the Cabinet-appointed sub-committee.

The statement added that Sri Lankan women who travel abroad to work as domestic helpers have age limits.

“For Saudi Arabia, the minimum age is 25, and for other countries in the Middle East it is 23, and for all other countries it is 21,” the statement said.

Accordingly, these limits will be revised to 21 years.

In January 2011, the Cabinet of the Sri Lankan government approved a proposal to raise the legal minimum age for employment of migrant domestic workers from Sri Lanka to 21 from 18.

The standard was suggested by Dilan Perera, then Minister of Overseas Employment Promotion and Welfare, to address the issue of young migrant workers being abused and exploited overseas.

In many countries to which Sri Lankans migrate to take up domestic work, there is no legal minimum age for the employment of female workers; young women are seen as particularly vulnerable to abuse by their employers.

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