- Out bound migration: Refers to the movement of people out of the country and encompasses categories such as Labor migrants, irregular migrants, trafficked victims, unregistered workers etc
- In bound Migration: Refers to people moving into the country, and encompasses categories such as students, foreign migrant workers, tourists, returning refugees and failed asylum seekers etc.
- Internal Migration: Refers to the flow of people within a country’s internal borders, and includes categories such as free-trade zone workers, those workers in Board of Investment (BOI) industrial zones, seasonal workers, internally displaced people and students.
- Families left behind: refers to the potential health and social impacts for families of migrant workers (e.g. nutritional neglect of children).
As an island nation at an important geographical location at the heart of the Indian Ocean, migration has always been an integral part of Sri Lanka, be it by traders or colonial invaders. With the end of a protracted civil conflict in early 2009, Sri Lanka now prepares to embrace a new chapter of lasting peace and development. The ruling Government’s Political Manifesto “Mahinda Chintanaya” places strong emphasis on migration as a key engine for economic development. With booming investments, enhanced tourist numbers, increased international connectivity via newly developed international sea and airports, rising numbers of Sri Lanka’s labour migrant workforce to regions beyond gulf states, growing numbers of foreign workers for state and investment projects in Sri Lanka, increasing internal population mobility via road, rail and port networks and the concomitant rise in rural to urban sprawl, Sri Lanka is truly a country ‘on the move’ with global connectivity…perhaps more than any other time in the Nation’s history.
Sri Lankan health authorities have increasingly become aware of the major migration health challenges, particularly in meeting the health demands of the various types of migrant and mobile populations. The Government have been working in close partnership with the International Organization for Migration (IOM) since 2009 to ensure better health outcomes for the 3 flows of migrant populations (inbound, outbound and internal) and their families.
For further information;
1. Dr.K Wickramage
2. Dr.S.L Peiris