Jan 14, Colombo: Following the execution of the Sri Lankan housemaid Rizana Nafeek in Saudi Arabia last week, Sri Lanka is planning to raise the minimum age limit for unskilled female migrant workers from 21 to 25, Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera has said.
The Minister, addressing a memorial service at Dawatagaha Mosque, Colombo on Saturday for Rizana, has said the government will bring new provisions to the employment contracts of female workers to strengthen their rights and to ensure their safety.
Minister Perera has explained that the government policy is to reduce unskilled female workers migrating overseas as domestic aids and in this regard the Minister when he took the office had increased the minimum age limit to 21 from 18.
He has said that new terms will be introduced to the employment contracts of the workers migrating to Middle East according to the receiving country's and Sri Lankan laws to ensure their safety.
Rizana, who was charged with smothering an infant under her care just one week after her arrival in Saudi Arabia as a housemaid, was given nanny duties to care for the child.
The Minister pledged to look after Rizana's family and said they will be provided with a house and employment for one of the family members.
Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) recently said it plans to reduce the number of women migrating as domestic aides by 80 to 90 percent by 2020 as a measure to minimize the social and cultural problems in society.