A journey towards a Human Trafficking Free Sri Lanka

Equipping Sri Lanka to Counter Trafficking in Persons
(Project EQUIP)

Across four high labour migration districts (Colombo, Gampaha, Kandy & Kurunegala) of Sri Lanka , Helvetas is conducting training for field level government officials on 'Human Trafficking Victim identification, referral procedures and Psychosocial support' to enhance the quality of services accessible to trafficked victims. 

Working in Partnerships to Counter Human Trafficking in the Migration Sector

Figures from the government mandated authority on migration indicate that 263,307 women and men migrated overseas for employment in 2015 contributing 40% of the country's annual foreign exchange earnings. Most of these migrants found semi and low skilled jobs in the GCC countries. These migration patterns play a pivotal role in the trafficking situation in the island state; something that has thus far gone predominantly unaddressed in the local narrative, and a gap that Project EQUIP shall bridge. As the recent Trafficking In Persons (TIP) Reports note, "Many migrant workers go into debt to pay high recruitment fees imposed by unscrupulous labour recruitment agencies, only to be trapped in debt bondage on arrival at their destination". Vulnerable communities often faced with a dearth of decent local employment opportunities, feel compelled to seek jobs overseas, and are thereafter subjected to misleading information, exorbitant recruitment fees from both licensed agencies and unlicensed recruitment intermediaries. 

Equip takes into account these clear challenges and proposes a set of interventions comprising 3 overarching goals of Prevention, Protection, and Prosecution, with a total of 4 core objectives.

The Equip project partner organizations; International Labour Organization (ILO), the Asia Foundation (TAF), and Helvetas Sri Lanka are implementing activities in collaboration under the 3 key pillars of Prevention, Protection and Prosecution. 

Helvetas Sri Lanka is mainly implementing activities under project Objectives 3 and 4 to enhance the quality of protection services available to victims of trafficking.

The key project activities being implemented by Helvetas are:

  1. Training for government officials (Migration Development Officers attached to the Ministry of Foreign Employment Sri Lanka, Counseling Assistants attached to the Ministry of Social Welfare and Primary Industries, and the Ministry of Women & Child Affairs, and the Conciliation officers attached to Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment) on Human Trafficking Victim identification, referral procedures and Psycho social support. 
  2. Capacity/KAP (Knowledge, Attitude, and Practices) Assessments for the Trafficking Victim Shelter of Ministry of Women and Child affairs, and Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau's Migrant Worker Welfare Centre "Sahana Piyasa".
  3. Capacity building Training for Trafficking Victim Shelter, and Sahana Piyasa Officials.
  4. Advanced training for Counseling Assistants on providing better protection and counseling services to victims of trafficking. 
  5. Legal advice and services to victims of trafficking on accessing the justice system.
Project Quarter 1- Training Manual Development: 4 Focused Group Discussions held with Migration Development Officers, Counseling Assistants and SLBFE Officials to assess training requirements on Human Trafficking Victim identification, referrals, and psycho social support 
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Project Quarter 1 and 2 - Training Manual Development: The process of developing and the training package is being conducted under the direct guidance and supervision of a technical committee comprising of senior officials of collaborative Ministries, Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau, Women's Bureau, and project ...
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© Helvetas
Project Quarter 2 - KAP (Knowledge, Attitudes, Practices)/Capacity Assessment: Human Trafficking subject Knowledge, Attitude towards victims and protection practices of 71 SLBFE officials of Sahana Piyasa, assessed through test papers, one to one interviews and role plays.  © Helvetas
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How Helvetas Supports People in Sri Lanka

Helvetas advocates in Sri Lanka for fair and safe conditions in labor migration. We also promote social harmony in the country.