Sri Lanka to Open First Government Shelter for Women Victims of Human Trafficking

Posted: 
12/11/12

Sri Lanka - The first government shelter for victims of human trafficking in Sri Lanka will be declared open by Hon. Tissa Karalliyadda, the Minister of Child Development and Women’s Affairs on Wednesday 12th December 2012 in the presence of Her Excellency Ms. Michele J. Sison, the United States Ambassador, and Richard Danziger, IOM’s Chief of Mission.
 
Recognizing the importance of safe shelters for the process of recovery and reintegration of identified victims of human trafficking, IOM Sri Lanka, with USD 450,000 in funding from the United States Government, provided technical support and assistance to the Ministry of Child Development and Women’s Empowerment to establish this first government shelter for victims of human trafficking in the country.  This will ensure that identified victims are provided safe shelter and are also referred  for necessary services, including medical, psychological and legal assistance.

“The provision of a shelter for victims of trafficking will ensure that appropriate assistance is provided and that the re-victimization of victims is prevented. It will also prevent victims being placed in remand homes and detention centers due to lack of government shelter facilities and fulfil Sri Lanka’s international obligations in the protection of victims of human trafficking and their rights,” says Richard Danziger, Chief of Mission of IOM Sri Lanka.

IOM Sri Lanka has over the past five years, with almost USD 1.3 million support from the US Government, implemented anti-human trafficking programmes that seek to prevent the trafficking of vulnerable men, women and children through awareness raising; protect identified victims through the provision of direct assistance; and build the capacity of law enforcement to identify, investigate and prosecute cases of human trafficking.

IOM also successfully advocated for and assisted with the establishment of the National Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force led by the Ministry of Justice to increase co-ordination in combating human trafficking in Sri Lanka.  

Sri Lanka is a signatory to the UN Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children. It is a country of origin and is increasingly becoming a destination country for trafficked persons.  These men and women are trafficked mostly for labour exploitation, but also for commercial sexual exploitation. Sri Lankan nationals, mostly women, migrate for employment to destination countries in the Middle East to serve as domestic helpers, but sometimes find themselves trapped in involuntary servitude in appalling working conditions.

For more information contact  

Richard Danziger
IOM Sri Lanka
Email: rdanziger@iom.int
Tel. +94 11 5325 300