Exploitation and Harassment: Sri Lankan Migrants in Italy and Canada

exploitation and harassment sri lankan migrants in italy and canada

exploitation and harassment sri lankan migrants in italy and canada

Hundreds of thousands of Sri Lankans left their country for a better life for their families and children. But their dreams have been shattered by exploitative employers and rising inflation. They cannot afford a decent roof over their heads, and nor the price of essential foods. 

But the Sri Lankan government continues to push the people to find jobs abroad in an effort to boost the country’s foreign exchange earnings. And President Ranil Wickremesinghe has not protected Sri Lankans from exploitation and harassment in foreign countries. 

Sri Lankan Migrants Work Hard

Desperate Sri Lankans easily fall to foreign recruitment agents on social media. Sri Lanka has recorded a massive outflow of young professionals from its health and technology sectors for greener pastures. Moreover, the country’s foreign employment ministry is pushing more Sri Lankans abroad. The government has gone all the way, stepping up training in care giving, nursing which are attractive and potentially high-paying jobs in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait. 

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A number of western countries like Italy have given many Sri Lankans refugee status because of the economic crisis. A Sri Lankan migrant said he came to Italy two years ago, and has been working very hard cleaning several large five storied housing complexes per day. He has a 16-hour workday with the pay of €6 per hour. 

However, work is not available every day and he has to look for temporary work. The Italian government was also making things difficult for the migrants by cutting rights and reducing welfare to the unemployed. Italy ended the welfare to 169,000 poor families in August saying that they were fit to work. Prime Minister Georgia Meloni said this was just the beginning and warned of more social attacks. 

Migrants Don’t Give Up

Sri Lankan migrants are also finding it tough in Canada, a country that is regarded for its high standard of living. But it has been impacted by the global economic crisis. Prices of everything, from food to water and electricity bills, to insurance everything is up. Reports say many entering Canada with work permits are employed as unskilled laborers and receive insufficient wages. 

However, these migrant workers are giving up. They have toughened up to the challenges and difficulties coming their way for the sake of their families back at home. They have children to feed and educate, and families to sustain. These migrant workers take up second, even third jobs to do all they can.

About Senior Reporter

With over more than 6 years of writing obituaries for the local paper, Senior Reporter has a uniquely strong voice that shines through in his newest collection of essays and articles, which explores the importance we place on the legacy.

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