Jan 20, Colombo: The government of Sri Lanka is studying the possibilities of excluding childcare from the duty list of Sri Lankan housemaids employed overseas.
Sri Lanka's Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion is considering to make the employment agencies to sign agreements to guarantee that the Sri Lankan housemaids will not be employed for caring of children.
The Ministry will also introduce new legislations to raise the minimum age for all housemaids migrating abroad for employment to 25, says Amal Senadhilankara, Chairman of the Foreign Employment Bureau.
Sri Lankan organizations agitate demanding suspension of deploying Sri Lankan women as housemaids abroad especially following the beheading of Sri Lankan housemaid Rizana Nafeek by Saudi Arabia for charges of killing a baby she was looking after.
The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) however, said there were no plans yet to suspend Sri Lankan women from going to Saudi Arabia as housemaids, despite pressure from women's rights groups.
The Ministry says it is promoting the employment of skilled workers to avoid situations similar to Nafeek's case and is in the process of identifying the weak and neglected areas pertaining to unskilled domestic workers and strengthening their skills.
Remittances from migrant workers are a major contribution to the country's economy and the majority of the expatriate employees are housemaids in Middle Eastern countries.