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    Sri Lanka ready to introduce a 'single employment law

    June 05, 2018

    Sustained, inclusive and sustainable economic growth could not be realized without properly addressing the inequalities in the world of work, Sri Lanka's Minister of Labor and Trade Union Relations Ravindra Samaraweera said on Monday (June 04) addressing the Plenary Meeting of the 107th Session of the International Labor Conference (ILC) being held in Geneva from 28 May - 9 June 2018.

    Highlighting some of the significant achievements made by Sri Lanka in the field of labor, Minister Samaraweera observed that being the first country in the world to implement a National Decent Work Plan on par with ILO principles, Sri Lanka has also given priority to 'labor rights', through its inclusion in the National Human Rights Action Plan 2017-2021. He added further that Sri Lanka is in the process of introducing a 'single employment law', consolidating disparate laws that currently exist, and giving effect to the principle of non-discrimination.

    Sri Lanka, the Minister stressed, has also made strides in progress toward eliminating child labor, and promoting the rights of the child, offering to share its expertise in this area to support the endeavors of the ILO.

    The Minister also emphasized the need to consider practical measures including 'flexible working hours', creating a positive atmosphere for women to join the labor market, thereby increasing productivity. He noted the important role that trade unions could play in making workers understand the changing global work environment. Stressing the need to break through stereotypes to achieving gender equality, he called for a change of attitudes and awareness raising across all strata of society.

    During his discussion with Director General of ILO Mr. Guy Ryder, Minister expressed Sri Lanka's interest to be at the forefront of ILO's global and regional efforts, along with other relevant stakeholders, in striving towards eliminating child labor and forced labor. In this connection, he assured Sri Lanka's fullest support for declaring year 2021 as the Year of Elimination of Child Labor and expressed willingness to become a "Pathfinder Country" of Alliance 8.7. Sri Lanka is currently considering the ratification of ILO Protocol 29 to the Forced Labor Convention.

    Minister Samaraweera was accompanied by Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka to the United Nations in Geneva Ambassador A.L.A. Azeez, Commissioner General of Labor Mr. R.P.A. Wimalaweera, Deputy Permanent Representative of Sri Lanka Mrs. Samantha Jayasuriya, Ms. Shashika Senaratne, Minister Counsellor, Mr. B. Vasanthan, Senior Assistant Secretary of Ministry of Labor and Trade Union Relations and other senior officials.

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