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Steps to be followed by potential women migrant workers in obtaining Family Background Report
  1. Visit the district office of the Bureau of Foreign Employment nearest to your residence and select a recognized employment agency registered with the Bureau of Foreign Employment.
  2. Visit the selected employment agency and familiarize with the available employment opportunities and select a suitable job and a country of your choice. 
  3. Obtain a form for the family background report from the employment agency.
  4. Fill in the form accurately and get the signature of the employment agent in the relevant place.
  5. Certification of the place of residence and civil status by the Grama Niladhari. (If the applicant is a resident of a estate, the place of residence and civil status should be certified by the Estate Superintendent) 
  6. Forward the duly completed Family Background Report application to the Development Officer of the Ministry of Foreign employment attached to Divisional Secretariat relevant to your area of residence.
  7.  Having examined the application, the Development Officer will inform you of the supporting documents needed to be submitted to verify the information given in your application.
  8. The Development Officer, after inspecting the documents and if satisfied with their authenticity will inform you of the date of his/her visit to your home to inspect the family background.
  9. The potential woman migrant worker shall make necessary arrangements enabling the Development Officer to inspect the family background. ( It is imperative for you to make arrangements for the safety of your children)
  10. After inspecting the family background, you have to visit the Divisional Secretariat on a date notified by the Development Officer to obtain the family background report (approved/not approved).
Services that the people can obtain from Development Officers attached to Divisional Secretariats island-wide under the Ministry of Foreign Employment
  1. Since data pertaining to all migrant workers resident in the area under his/her purview are maintained by these officers including the family profile and the mapping of the place of residence, necessary information in this regard can be obtained from them.
  2. Obtaining the family background report which has been made compulsory for all potential women migrant workers.
  3. Development Officers, having identified the welfare needs of migrant worker families, inform the Bureau of migrant worker families/ members eligible for such welfare programmes. Deserving beneficiaries of welfare programmes such as the housing loan scheme, the scholarship programme and other programmes for granting school equipment, constructing houses, supplying electricity, supplying drinking water and granting relief to victims of disasters are identified and referred to the Bureau of Foreign Employment. Further, details of the requirements needed be satisfied to be eligible for these programmes can be obtained from Development Officers.
  4. Offering guidance, raising awareness and giving instructions to potential migrant workers in respect of the following matters.
    1. regarding the services provided by the Bureau of Foreign Employment
    2. activities connected with pre departure/ post departure and on the return to the island. 
  5. Referring those in need of counseling in identified families, those interested in self employment and problematic children to officers specialized in these subjects who are attached to Divisional Secretariats.

    Eg: Referring persons in need of counseling to the counselor of the Divisional Secretariat and taking measures to have his services available.

  6. Directing returnee migrant workers to suitable livelihood programmes.    
"Sramika Surakuma" welfare programme for migrant worker families

As the initial step of implementing welfare programme for families of migrant workers as enshrined in the “ Compassionate Government- A stable country” manifesto of His Excellency the President, the “Sramika Surakuma” welfare programme for families of migrant was launched in on 08thJanuary, 2016. 

The registration of families of migrant workers under the first phase oft this programme was carried out in all Divisional Secretariats of the island from 08- 14 January 2016.

Welfare programmes are expected to be launched, having identified the needs of families of migrant workers through the Development Officers attached to this Ministry who serve in Divisional Secretariats. Special attention will be focused on guiding the family of migrant worker towards the attainment of goal for which the migrant worker sought overseas employment.  


The Colombo process is a Regional Consultative Process on the management of overseas employment and contractual labour for countries of origin in Asia which was initiated at Ministerial Consultations for Asian Labour Sending Countries. Colombo Process is not only a forum for members to share experiences and best practices and coordinate issues of common interest on labour migration, but to also collectively enhance dialogue with countries and regions of destination with regard to the protection of migrant workers. It has a vision and outreach that is not only regional, but global.

The 11 countries are;  Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam, and has met in Manila (2004), Bali (2005) Dhaka (2011) and Colombo (2014) to review and monitor the implementation of previous recommendation and identify areas for future actions.

The Geneva headquartered International Organization for Migration (IOM) serves as the secretariat for the Colombo Process. Sri Lanka expressed its interest to maintain the permanent secretariat in Sri Lanka during 2nd SOM and the Swiss Agency for Development and Cooperation (SDC) also has expressed its willingness to work with Sri Lanka and to provide financial assistance to implement a Permanent Secretariat for Colombo Process.

Sri Lanka is chairing the Colombo Process during 2014/15. As Chair –in-Office, Sri Lanka has proposed the following strategic vision for the CP.

  • Recognize the vital contribution made by migrant workers to the development of Countries of Origin (CoOs) as well as  the Countries of Destination (CoDs) – the development thrust
  • Shift from a preoccupation of considering short term migrant workers as commodities and rather regard them as human beings and as human assets – the humanitarian thrust


  • Engage with countries of destination with the view of promoting a framework of legal institutions in CoDs, ranging from MoUs to legal systems, taking into account their jurisprudence which should be equipped to resolve and adjudicate on migrant employment related issues – the legal thrust


  • Expand the network of Migrant Resource Centers or other institutions within the CoOs to address selection of workers, pre-departure trainings as well as reintegration of returning migrants – the institutional thrust


  • Build information systems, statistics and databases – the information thrust

In order to pursue this strategic vision following thematic areas have been identified:

  • Review qualifications and recognition processes.
  • Promote cheaper, faster and safer transfer of remittances.
  • Foster ethical labour recruitment, common wage levels and insurance protection, the promotion of standard employment contracts specially focusing on issues of contract substitution and creating a registering mechanism for contract.
  • Ensure effective pre-departure orientation and empowerment, including skills development.
  • Develop a database on economic trends in the destination countries, which are mostly in the Middle-East.

This concept note will lay out how the Sri Lankan Government as Chair-in-Office of the Colombo Process will take its agenda forward with the first Senior Official Meeting (SOM)

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