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Labour Minister’s talks in Geneva drive SL’s commitment to employment reforms

June 11, Colombo (LNW): Labour and Foreign Employment Minister Manusha Nanayakkara engaged in a significant meeting with Mr. Gilbert F. Houngbo, the Director-General of the International Labour Organisation (ILO), during the Annual International Labour Conference (ILC) in Geneva.

Joined by key officials from Sri Lanka’s Ministry and the ILO, Minister Nanayakkara discussed various crucial initiatives aimed at improving labour standards and employment conditions in Sri Lanka.

The discussion covered several key points, including progress towards ratifying important ILO conventions such as the Work in Fishing Convention (C188), as well as provisions within the new Employment Act focused on combatting discrimination and workplace violence.

Plans to ratify additional conventions, including those addressing occupational safety and health and the protection of domestic workers, were also outlined.

Additionally, the meeting addressed Sri Lanka’s social security policy, focusing on unemployment benefits, maternity benefits, and employment injury insurance, with Nanayakkara highlighting the need for ILO support in strengthening this framework.

Updates were provided on the development of the National Labour Market Information System (NLMIS), aimed at addressing gaps in the labour market by providing comprehensive data.

Furthermore, Minister Nanayakkara discussed the Labour Market Recovery and Transformation Strategy (LMRTS), launched with ILO’s assistance, which focuses on job creation, skills enhancement, and institutional reforms.

Houngbo commended Sri Lanka’s efforts, particularly on the government’s recent move of increasing the daily wage of plantation sector workers and the adherence to social dialogue principles.

The meeting also touched upon an upcoming collaboration with the ILO and the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) to train care workers, aiming to enhance women workforce participation and ensure decent working conditions for women in Sri Lanka.

Overall, the discussions highlighted Sri Lanka’s commitment to labour reforms and international cooperation in improving workforce employment standards and social protection.

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