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Caritas Sri Lanka SEDEC organized a five- day Training of Trainers (TOT) workshop for the Programme officers of the six ‘deep impact’ Partner Organizations and Caritas Diocesan and National Centre Staff of the Safe Labour Migration Programme. This TOT work shop is part of the project on “Provision of Services to Sri Lankan Migrant Workers and their Families”, funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). The workshops in Sinhala and Tamil mediums were held at the Caritas Sri Lanka, Auditorium. The workshop covered the following topics:
- Introduction to The Ministry of Foreign Employment, its vision, mandate and work,
- The functions of the Sri Lanka Bureau Foreign Employment (SLBFE), the Ministry of Foreign Employment Consular Division in relation to migrant workers,
- Pre-departure Stage - Legal issues and procedures to be considered when deciding to migrate for employment,
- Registration and Training - Registration of workers and Pre-departure training provided for migrant workers,
- In Service Stage - Types of abuses and harassment migrant workers face while in service, what could be done when faced with such abuses, harassment and death?
- Return and Reintegration - Legal issues faced on return and reintegration
- Redress available at the SLBFE,• Access to Legal Aid - Functions of Legal Aid Commission of Sri Lanka with regards to migrant workers,
- Mediation as a means of access to justice,
- Accessing Justice - Courts of law
In addition to the in-house learning, the participants were provided an exposure to understand the functions of the different sections such as Consular Division, Complaint Division and Welfare Division.
The resource persons for the Sinhala medium workshop were Dr. Ramani Jayasundara - Senior Technical Advisor for The Asia Foundation, Mrs. N.D.C.P. Nakandala - Asst. Secretary - Ministry of Foreign Employment, Mr. M. Deshapriya - Deputy General Manager Conciliation Division SLBFE, Mrs. J.A. D. S. Priyangika Wijegunasekara - Director for Consular Division of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ms. Thamarashi Wickramanayaka - Legal Aid Commission and Mrs. C.P. Kumarasinghe - Mediator Trainer Ministry of Justice.
Mr. Velusamy Weerasingham - Facilitator, M. M.A.N. Ahamed - Director Planning, Ministry of Foreign employment, Mr. A.H.M. Shibly - Liaison Officer - SLBFE, Mr. Ramasamy Nawodyam - Lawyer Legal Aid Commission, Mr. V. Savarinayagam - District Mediator Trainer of the Ministry of Justice and Mr. Chaminda Hettiarachchi - Controller Department of Immigration and Emigration facilitated the Tamil medium training workshop.
The Sinhala medium training workshop which was held from 1st to 5th November had 19 participants, while the Tamil medium workshop which was held from 7th to 11th November had 12 participants.
The participants who received the above training are expected to conduct the same training for ‘paralegals’ identified by their respective organizations in the districts they serve. The ‘paralegals’ thus trained will then be available for migrants and their families in their own localities to address issues and problems faced by the communities connected to labour migration.