Caritas Sri Lanka in collaboration with Caritas Batticaloa – EHED organized a half a day programme for the Development Officers of Foreign Employment (DOFEs) in the Batticaloa district recently to educate them of the Caritas-led Case Handling Mechanism and to discuss about the issues pertaining to the migrants and their family members.
According to the SLBFE statistics in 2018, a total 14,210 people from Batticaloa district have left the country seeking foreign employment opportunities. And out of them, 2,632 have migrated as housemaids. According to the Caritas MSDS (Migration Support Database System), Caritas have received a considerable number of migrant cases from the Batticaloa District to be facilitated at the SLBFE.
During the workshop held on 23rd of September 2019, the DOFE officers were informed of the National Media Campaign on Safe Labour Migration that is travelling around the country encouraging all citizens to make informed decisions and follow correct procedures for foreign employment by seeking proper guidance through reliable sources. The media team informed the DOFE officers the dates that the campaign will be stopping at the villages and towns that they serve.
Ms. Luxsha Rakunan, Migration Programme Coordinator, Caritas Sri Lanka facilitated the main programme where she explained about the case handling mechanism that Caritas has undertaken under the migration project funded by the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC). She also focused on the regular migration related issues found in the District of Batticaloa and discussed with the DOFEs how they would be able to address such cases and seek solutions for the depressed migrants and their family members. She also pointed out to the available support services or mechanism that could be of help to the migrants both in making right decisions or to seek help when they face troubles.
At the end of the workshop the DOFEs were engaged in a group work and tried to identify issues they face while working for the migrants at the grass roots levels. They also came up with numerous recommendations and strategies that could be implemented with the aim of enhancing the scope and quality of their services.
A.Naveswaran, Assistant District Secretary of the district of Batticaloa was also present at the occasion. Migration officers from ESCO and SWOAD were also present and spoke about the activities that they carry out in the districts of Batticaloa and Ampara for the migrant worker and their family members.