Colombo Process Promises Better Conditions for Asian Migrant Workers

International and Regional Cooperation, Labour Migration

Sri Lanka - The Fifth Ministerial Consultation of the Colombo Process (CP) ended this weekend, marking the culmination of Sri Lanka’s second term as Chair of the 11-nation Regional Consultative Process on the management of overseas employment and contractual labour for countries of origin in Asia.

In the presence of Ministers and Heads of Delegations from 11 Colombo Process Member Countries, the Ministerial Consultation adopted a joint declaration. It also welcomed Cambodia as a new Member State of the Process.

IOM Director General William Lacy Swing recognized the many achievements of the CP and the commitment of the member states. “The Colombo Process has demonstrated its ability to act as a catalytic platform to translate some of its aspirational aims into action. These represent solid, practical and promising prospects for Asian workers to safely, legally migrate under better conditions,” he said. 

Sri Lankan Minister of Foreign Affairs, Mangala Samaraweera said: “We are committed to ensuring that migrant workers have safe and dignified employment abroad. Despite all efforts, I must acknowledge that some migrant workers face unfortunate tragedies and hardships. My Ministry along with the Ministry of Foreign Employment has done its best to represent the interests of our workers on such occasions.”

Minister of Foreign Employment Thalatha Athukorala said: “The Colombo Process will continue to facilitate orderly, safe, regular and responsible labour migration as stated in the UN Sustainable Development Goals SDGs for the benefit of sending and receiving countries, as well as the migrant workers and their families.”

For further information please contact Giuseppe Crocetti at IOM Sri Lanka. Tel: +94 115 325 300, Email: