Milestone of the Migration Health and Development process in Sri Lanka



122nd Session of Executive Board of World Health Assembly

Endorsement of the Resolution on “Health of Migrants”. Member countries were invited to develop Migrant friendly health environment (A61/17).

1ST MAY 2008


With expressed endorsement and leadership from Minister of Health, Hon. Nimal Siripala de Silva, Chairman of the Executive Board WHO, and the president of the 62nd WHA, the Government of Sri Lanka forms partnership with IOM to establish a migration, health and development programme in Sri Lanka.

22nd May 2009

Initiating the formative phase for establishing the ground work for the migration, health and development program

A joint MOH-IOM team undertook a series of key stakeholder meetings in order to acquiring basic knowledge on the health and social impacts of migration. A rapid mapping of available services was also undertaken during this process.

For instance, meetings with Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), visit to welfare home for returnee migrant workers “Sahana Piyasa”, SLBFE pre departure training center at Ratmalana, BOI, Department of Immigration & Emigration, Ministry of External Affairs, Ministry of Defense etc

A Rapid Situation Analysis (RSA)/desk review was also completed to define a conceptual framework on migration health for Sri Lanka. This framework gave rise to the concepts of “inbound”, “internal”, “outbound” migrant flows.

6th January 2010

IOM commitment to developing Sri Lanka’s MHD agenda

t the request of the Government of Sri Lanka, IOM through its 1035 member state funding facility, agreed to provide technical and financial assistance to catalyze the MHD agenda for Sri Lanka. The technical partnership was consolidated via a signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Ministry of Health and IOM on 6th January, 2010

6th January 2010

Global Consultation on Migrant Health, Madrid, Spain

The aim of this Global consultation was to seek ways to ensure the practical implementation of the WHA resolution on Health of Migrants adopted in 2008. To this end, the Global consultation provided a forum to Review the obstacles Generate global data on the health of migrants Identify policies and legislation that advances the health of migrants Identify key actions to create migrant-sensitive health systems, and To develop/strengthen national, regional and global platforms to advance the migration health agenda. IOM supported the Ministry of Health in participating at this landmark meeting, and contributed to the report resolutions.

1st March 2010

1st National Consultation for Migration, health and development in Sri Lanka

Key stakeholders such as government ministries, academics, UN agencies, NGOs, foreign employment agencies got together at the launching officiated by the Hon. Minister of Health. Conceptual framework for the national migration, health and development programme was endorsed at this meeting

26th April 2010

1st Inter Ministerial/Agency coordination framework was established

Migration Health Secretariat was established within the Ministry of Health to function as the permanent coordinating hub. Technical focal points from the each stakeholder agency were identified and Migration Health Task Force was established to formulate the policy documents and the technical proposals to be submitted at the NSC which is the highest level decision making body on policy matters and the inter ministerial coordination issues.

1st may 2010

1st Migration Health Task Force (MHTF) meeting

Focal points from more than 10 government ministries, UN agencies and academia congregated and discussed to come to terms with issues in all domains of migration, issues in existing policies and implementation and devise the final composition of MHTF and NSC with revision of terms of reference for each of these bodies.

24th May 2010

Representation at the regional and international scientific forums

International Epidemiological Association (IEA) conference A joint MoH/IOM symposium on “MIGRATION HEALTH, CHALLENGES AND PERSPECTIVES” was held and the plenary speech was given by the IOM Global head on migration health and Development at global and regional level”.

25th may 2010

1st National Steering Committee Meeting on Migration, Health and Development

National Steering Committee comprising of the highest level of decision makers including the Secretary/Director General level representatives of the key government ministries involved in migration. Key issues to be addressed by the Migration Health Development process and the Terms of Reference of the Migration Health Task Force and proposed coordination mechanism were endorsed at this meeting.

25th June 2010

1st regional discussion on health challenges of the Asian labour migration

Members of the Migration Health Task Force participated at the Regional Dialogue on the Health Challenges for Asian Migrant workers which was an inter country meeting with labour sending countries. A set of Joint recommendations to be followed at national and bi lateral, regional and global level recommendations were agreed upon to be submitted at the 5th Colombo Process meeting

13 July 2010

Initiation of establishment of the health assessment for the resident visa applicants to Sri Lanka

Controller General/ Department of Immigration and Emigration solicited technical assistance from the migration health task force to establish health assessment for the resident visa applicants to Sri Lanka A sub committee with technical expertise from vertical health programmes was appointed to develop technical guidelines to lay out the implementation plan

1 Sep 2010

4th meeting of the Global Forum on migration and development

Members of the Migration Health Task Force represented migration health and development programme at the global level

1st Nov 2010

Ministry of Health and IOM meets Controller General, Department of Immigration and Emigration

Discussion was conducted on establishment of health assessment for the resident visa applicants to Sri Lanka

1 oct 2010

4th Meeting of the Global Forum on Migration and Development

A Sri Lankan government delegation comprised from the ministries of Labour, Health and Foreign Employment and Migration Health Task Force represented Sri Lanka for the 1st time at global level

1st nov 2010

Launching the national research agenda- an evidence based policy process

National Migration Health Task Force/IOM commissioned national research on “Health Issues pertaining to migration” across four domains of migration i.e.: internal, out bound, inbound and families left behind on health and social issues of migration to provide imperative data to ensure evidence based migration health policy process

1 January 2011

Treasury approval of the concept note on establishment of health assessment for the resident visa applicants to Sri Lanka

Following series of technical meetings with wide range of experts and extensive review of the literature, a technical guidance note was developed on health assessment for resident visa applicants to Sri Lanka, which was proposed to be established to prevent public health emergency and to reduce health care cost to public health sector.

28th Feb 2011

3rd National Steering Committee meeting- Official endorsement of the establishment of the Health Assessment for the resident visa applicants

Technical guidelines to establish the health assessment for the resident visa applicants to Sri Lanka was officially endorsed by the NSC and decision was made to submit a cabinet paper and a technical paper for the approval of the parliament

1st March 2011

4th Colombo Process-Discussion on Health of the migrants for the first time

Ministerial consultation in Bangladesh, Dhaka – in the view of promoting rights ,welfare, dignity, services and emergency responses, and enhanced dialogue along with cooperation among labour sending, receiving and transit countries. Ministry of Health Sri Lanka presented the Health Issues of Out-bound Migration, which included gaps in Services and Policies

4th April 2011

Nations 1st report card on WHA resolution on Health of Migrants

Hon. Maithreepala Sirisena, Minister of Health, presented the report card on Sri Lanka’s progress on WHA resolution on Health of migrants which was applauded by the member states and discussions are underway to request the member countries to submit annual reporting to the WHA.

16th May 2011

Learning about the immigration health assessment and the health assessment of the refugees

Study visit to IOM, Damak, Nepal provided greater exposure to the global best practice on Immigration health assessment

1st July 2011

High level Ministry of Health and IOM meeting in Geneva

Hon. Minister of Health agreed to provide highest level commitment and DG IOM committed for the continued technical assistance to pursue the migration, health and development agenda at the country, regional and global level.

17th Sep 2011

Ensure evidence based policy process

Key findings of the national research on 4 domains of migration (Inbound, Outbound and Internal migration and Families Left Behind) were disseminated among wide range of stakeholders from different disciplines at the national scientific symposium held on 13th October.

13th Oct 2011

The web portal on Migration Health and Development in Sri Lanka was co-launched by Dr Ravindra Ruberu, Secretary, Ministry of Health and Mr Richard Danziger, Chief of Mission, IOM, at the event held in Auditorium, Family Health Bureau with the presence of key stakeholders of Different Ministries, academia and media personnel.The website contains latest news related to migration and health, and all the information on policy process and research pertaining to policy development, along with the publications related to field and important to Sri Lanka which can be downloaded directly, and a collection of images related to development of the National Policy on Migration and Health. This will act as the knowledge hub for any person involved in the field. The launch was followed by media seminar, during which the research findings, done specifically with the intention of evidence based policy process and the current state of the National Policy on Migration Health was distributed to key persons and Media.

19th DEC 2011

Sri Lanka National Migration Health Policy was launched on 30th October 2013

The National Migration Health Policy was launched in Colombo by the Sri Lanka Ministry of Health (MOH) as a result of three and half years of effort and collaboration between the Government of Sri Lanka and IOM. The health impact on migrant and mobile populations from internal, outbound and inbound migration has been systematically examined over the past few years through undertaking public health research thanks to the solid partnership between IOM, the Ministry of Health and research experts inSri Lanka. The most important feature for the success of the migration health process in Sri Lanka was the establishment of a solid institutional mechanism which has the full support from all Government departments and is constructed with foundations of empirical research – a rarity these days with opinions, not evidence, governing policy making.

13 Sep 2013