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Title: Export of Sri Lankan Domestic Workers to Saudi Arabia: Gaps between Policy and Practices in Sri Lanka and Saudi Arabia
Contributor(s): Dissanayake, Samudra Kumari (author); Gamage, Sirisena  (supervisor); Kaur, Amarjit  (supervisor)
Conferred Date: 2013
Copyright Date: 2012
Open Access: Yes
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Abstract: Sri Lankan women have played an important role in transnational labour mobility since the 1980s. Their migrations correlate with decreasing employment opportunities in Sri Lanka. Simultaneously, the increasing importance of South-South migration has meant that countries like Saudi Arabia have come to rely on the guest worker programme to hire low-paid domestic workers from South and Southeast Asia. The guest worker programme is mainly driven by private recruitment agencies in both Sri Lanka and in Saudi Arabia. The Sri Lankan Government has benefited from the export of its citizens as cheap labour and, in particular, from its overseas women domestic workers. The government functions like a labour brokerage state, mobilising and preparing its citizens for work in Saudi Arabia and other countries. Not surprisingly, since 2006 inward remittances from all Sri Lankan migrant workers deployed overseas have represented a significant proportion of foreign income to the state. This is more than foreign aid and foreign direct investment put together. The Sri Lankan Government is actively involved in the regulation of its citizens abroad and has a well-established institution, the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment, which ensures that Sri Lankan overseas workers travel through legal channels and are protected from the corrupt practices of some recruitment agencies. However, numerous gaps which exist between policy and practice have been identified. Sri Lankan Government should address these gaps in a systematic fashion to protect its 'people' investment. There are also gaps in labour protections in Saudi Arabia and hence Sri Lankan domestic workers continue to experience gender-specific abuse and exploitation in the workplace.
Publication Type: Thesis Doctoral
Field of Research Codes: 160303 Migration
Socio-Economic Outcome Codes: 940111 Ethnicity, Multiculturalism and Migrant Development and Welfare
Rights Statement: Copyright 2012 - Samudra Kumari Dissanayake
HERDC Category Description: T2 Thesis - Doctorate by Research
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