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A 2-day programme on “Advocacy, capacity building and guidance for safe migration”, funded by Caritas Japan, was held at the Caritas SEDEC Auditorium, on 4th and 5th November 2015. The program was facilitated by Mr.L.K.Ruhunuge, Consultant on Labour Migration, on the first day and by Dr. Sepali Kottegoda, Executive Director of Women & Media Collective on the second day.

There were 38 participants present for this program, including Diocesan Coordinators from Chilaw, Batticaloa, Trincomalee, Colombo, Galle, Mannar, Jaffna, Ratnapura and Vanni Diocesan Centers and also several nuns from five Religious congregations were also a part of the audience.

Welcoming the participants on the first day, Rev. Fr. George Sigamoney, National Director of Caritas Sri Lanka said that one of the objectives of this workshop was to enhance their collective knowledge to develop a Church response to the issues concerning migration. Recalling that Caritas has worked for many years on migrant issues and has been in solidarity with migrants’ families, Fr. Sigamoney noted that in the past one or two years, the attention paid in Sri Lanka to such problems has scaled down, presumably because these have been overshadowed  by the larger global issues relating to migration. Yet, our problems in this country remain and we have, therefore, to work together to protect migrants and their rights as well as assure their safety and dignity. It is only then that they could serve and protect their own families and also play the vital role they perform in developing the country’s economy.

The topics discussed on the first day were:
•    Understanding International Labor Migration
•    Reason for International labor migration and its’ impacts

On the second day, the following matters were discussed:
•    Domestic workers and C189 (C189 is an ILO Convention which Sri Lanka has not ratified)
•    Domestic Workers Convention and its’ importance in the Sri Lankan context.
•    UN Convention on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrants and Their Families and its implementation methodology in Sri Lanka.
•    Migration and Sustainable Development Goals 2015 and how we can respond as part of civil society