UAE alert: Lanka to raise minimum age for hiring overseas maids to 25

Current age is 21

Foreign Employment and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera said that the minimum age limit of female migrant domestic aids would be raised from 21 to 25 besides bringing new conditions to the terms of their employment contracts in order to strengthen their rights and ensure safety.

He made this announcement during a memorial service held at a mosque in Colombo for Rizana Nafeek, a Sri Lankan maid who was executed in Saudi Arabia after being convicted for the death of a four month old child in her care.

Earlier the minimum age limit for domestic workers was raised from 18 to 21, he said explaining that no sooner he took over the ministry, the Government’s policy was to reduce migration of house maids for jobs in Middle East, Daily News reported.

Ensuring the safety of migrant domestic workers to Middle East, new terms will be introduced to employment contracts in line with the laws of labor of Sri Lanka as well as receiving countries.

He urged the elders to act responsibly and stop sending their underage children for employment abroad by resorting to falsifying documents and other illegal means.

In a recent interview to Daily News, Chairman of Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment Amal Senalankadikara recalled that his bureau aims to reduce female migrants for overseas domestic aides’ jobs by 80 to 90 percent by 2020.

He had said “We do not approve female going for overseas work as domestic aides. However, we cannot put a full stop to it immediately. Therefore, we have launched a number of programs to upgrade their skills and find gainful employment in specialised vocations”.

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