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Lankan women migrant workers praised

This article was published on The Sunday Observer.

International Organisation for Migration (IOM) Mission Chief Richard Danziger said that Sri Lankan women migrant workers are not only hard-working but they also have good ethical values.

He said, "in my experience serving the IOM, I haven't heard of a case of any Sri Lankan woman migrating to a foreign country for prostitution." Before taking the role as IOM's Chief of Mission in Sri Lanka, Richard Danziger was Head of the IOM's Counter Trafficking Division based in Geneva since 2004. His work encompassed developing IOM's overall policy on combating trafficking in persons, and advising the Organization's Member States on their own anti-trafficking strategies.

"It would be interesting to know why Sri Lankan women opt to work abroad in domestic or skilled jobs unlike nearly all of its South East Asian and South Asian counterparts where prostitution is the most popular profession," he said.

Danziger was also responsible for administering IOM's global database on victims of trafficking, and the Global Assistance Fund which provides for protection and assistance to victims around the world."Whether it is due to values, cultural or just ethics, Sri Lankan women have been very skilled and preferring working as nannies and domestic aides than prostitutes," he said.

According to a US report, there have been rare instances where Sri Lankan women have been trafficked for prostitution in countries such as Maldives but not a great proportion as opposed to countries such as Thailand, India or even Pakistan.

"However, there is a good legal system in place that protects victims of trafficking and those abused in the hands of their employer," said Danziger.

While nearly all of the Asian countries have women willing joining prostitution abroad, Sri Lanka has not.


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