Minimum age for migrant female domestic workers set at 21

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The Cabinet has decided to revise the minimum age limit for women seeking employment overseas as domestic workers to 21 years.

The current minimum age for Sri Lankan women to work as domestic workers abroad is 25 years for Saudi Arabia, 23 years for other Middle Eastern countries and 21 years for other countries.

Following a proposal made by the Minister of Labour and Foreign Employment, the Cabinet decided on 6 June 2022 to appoint a Cabinet Sub-Committee headed by the Minister of Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms to study and report on the revision of the age limit.

Cabinet Spokesman Bandula Gunawardena said yesterday at the weekly Cabinet briefing that the decision was made to attract more foreign currency to Sri Lanka. He claims that by doing so, more women in Sri Lanka will be able to travel abroad for work.

“At the Cabinet meeting, we also discussed the benefits that should be provided to these women who travel abroad. We proposed that if a foreign employed person sends USD 50 per month for the entire year, USD 600 will be deposited at the end of the year. We proposed that individuals who send USDs in this manner be able to apply for a USD 3000 loan facility with no interest. The loan settlement period is five years,” he said.

In addition, he noted that a bearer bond, similar to the one introduced in 1980, will be introduced here. He believes that if foreign employers send foreign currency through banks, they will receive a favourable package.

BY Thameenah Razeek