India attends meet on migration of workers

New Delhi: Minister of State for External Affairs V.K. Singh on Thursday attended the Fifth Ministerial Meeting of the Colombo Process, a regional meeting on labour mobility, in Sri Lanka’s capital.

“Managing labour concerns. MoS @Gen_VKSingh w/SL FM at inaugural of 5th Ministerial Consultation of Colombo Process,”External Affairs Ministry Spokesperson Vikas Swarup tweeted.

“Addressing a shared need. MOS speaks on overseas employment & contractual labour for countries of origin in Asia,” he stated in another tweet.

The ministerial consultation is a process that was started by the International Organisation of Migration (IOM) with the Sri Lankan government in 2003 in Colombo to look into the issues relating to workers from south and southeast Asia migrating mostly to Gulf countries and also to North America, Europe and other Asian countries.

The 11 participating member nations are Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam.

Thursday’s meeting, being held under the chairmanship of Sri Lankan Foreign Minister Thalatha Athukorala, comes at a time when a large number of expatriate workers in the Gulf are facing problems due to an economic slowdown caused by falling oil prices.

The IOM and the Swiss Agency for Development and Corporation are the main hosting organisations of the meeting being held under the theme “Migration for Prosperity: Adding Value by Working Together”.