Jan 24, Colombo: Following the execution of an underage housemaid by Saudi Arabia, the government of Sri Lanka has taken measures to increase the minimum age for overseas employment of female domestic workers.
The government received approval from the Cabinet today for a proposal submitted by the Minister of Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Dilan Perera to set age limits for female workers seeking employment overseas.
Female workers should be 25 years of age to be sent to Saudi Arabia, and minimum age for other seven Middle East countries should be 23 years. All applicants should have completed 21 days residential training and obtained National Vocational Qualification (NVQ) level 3 Certificate for "Domestic Housekeeping Assistant".
For Singapore, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Cyprus and other countries the minimum Age is 21 years and the domestic workers should have completed 30 days residential training and obtained the "Domestic Housekeeping Assistant" certificate.
The Sri Lankan housemaid beheaded by the Saudi authorities earlier this month was 17 when was sent to the Middle Eastern country with a forged passport that said she was 23.