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Province of Sri Lanka Pakistan

Pakistan is one of the main destinations for children under 16 who are trafficked in south Asia. In Pakistan Orphaned girls are sold as ‘wives’ to men who may resell them.

What are the challenges?

•    Identifying these groups that are used in trafficking especially women and children
•    Providing alternatives for economic development among these groups.
•    Providing opportunities for debt relief.

Migrant workers

The stories of Sri Lankan housemaids being ill-treated, beaten, tortured and sometimes killed overseas are legion. Current estimates suggest that over one million migrants are working abroad with an annual outflow of about 200,000 men and women. Of this number an average of 54 per cent are women in low skilled domestic work.
The feminisation of the migrant labour force is a unique character of the country with the number of women migrants increasing every year. In 2007, 114,677, or 52 per cent, of the total migrants were women. Generally, women amount to about 54 per cent of migrants. Over the years, foreign employment has generated substantial inflow of remittances, relieved local employment pressures and provided employment especially to women.
The migrant profile is a woman between 18 and 45, uneducated, usually married with children and dependent parents. They hail from low-income communities. The biggest demand for them is from the Middle East – Saudi Arabia, Kuwait, Dubai, Jordan, Jeddah, Lebanon, and from Singapore. There is marginal demand from Turkey, Cyprus and the United States as well.
Unfortunately, while these women go abroad to work housemaids but once they are there the job descriptions includes much more than household chores like cooking and cleaning. “What we find is that we have to look after large extended families, clean two-three storey houses, wash about four cars, care for infants and elderly and sometimes bed-ridden old people. We hardly get any sleep and are always working,” reveals K.P. Millie Nona, 50, who worked in Kuwait for four years.

What are the challenges?

•    Empowerment of women
•    Awareness of the plight migrant workers
•    Employment project for women in low economic situations / low education

Ecology
Deforestation is one of the most serious environmental issues in Sri Lanka.
Environmental concerns include deforestation; soil erosion; wildlife populations threatened by poaching and urbanization; coastal degradation from mining activities and increased pollution; freshwater resources being polluted by industrial wastes and sewage runoff; waste disposal; air pollution in Colombo

What are the challenges?

•    Awareness of the dangers of environmental pollution
•    Protection of the environment

Economy and Poverty


The economy of the country has been greatly affected by natural disasters and the war. Due to this the people of the lower and middle class have been affected greatly. This has caused many thefts, suicides and mental illness among the people.
What are the challenges?
•    To provide financial assistance and job opportunities
•    Education and small income generating projects.
Abuse of Women
Women in Sri Lanka and Pakistan face many types of abuse due to the fact of being women. The many forms of violence are – sexual, physical, emotional. Many women’s groups are working on the updating of laws against the violence of women.
What are the challenges?
•    Providing a safe place
•    Getting legal help for women
•    Need for psychological healing
Good Shepherd Response
In order to respond to the urgent and crying needs in our country which  very much connected to justice issues we as a Province have formed various committees to study the situation and take concrete action to relieve and empower the people who are suffering. Some of the committees are : JP committee, Environment committee, Mass media, Estate committee, Education, committee for war torn areas etc.

War

1.    Combined programmes for peace and reconciliation among the ethnic groups especially school children.
2.    Centers for war abandoned orphans  - skill training and capacity building programmes
3.    Trauma counseling for victims of war
4.    Homes for mother and child orphaned and deserted due to war.
5.    Empowerment and education for children and young people in the camps
6.    Involvement in peace building committees.
7.    Involvement in Inter faith dialogue

Trafficking

1.    Prevention measures – home of hope for children from rural areas who are prone to being trafficked – specially estate girls.
2.    Immediate care – Special shelters for trafficked girls –  opportunities for self growth and planning of their future
3.    Second phase – skill development projects / career development centre – it is a recent project where all the girls were helped find employment.
4.    Shelter for women who are employed in the FTZ – empowerment and assistance to better their future. This centre caters to women and supports them to deal with eh exploitation that they may be subject to. The rapport the sisters have with the employers and factory managers are a great impetus in our work with these young women to help them stand up for their rights.
5.    Scholarship programme for children of prisoners.
6.    Opportunities for education in our schools as a measure of prevention.

Migrant workers

1.    Awareness programs for women who are desiring migration
2.    Assistance for those migrant returnees.
3.    Capacity building workshops for women in rural areas.
4.    Providing financial assistance to start a business or small industry – livelihood assistance.
Ecology

1.    Awareness programs on conservation of the environment and the dangers of environmental pollution
2.    Workshops on recycling
3.    Workshops on water preservation.
4.    Awareness through ‘Eco-friends’ newsletter


Economy and Poverty

1.    Micro-credit projects
2.    Networking with the congregational trading circle.
3.    Providing job opportunities for women
4.    Education and career development.

Abuse of women

1.    Crisis intervention centers
2.    Counseling facilities
3.    Networking with other organizations for legal aid

Future Challenges

•    A need for active participation in policy changing – advocacy / lobbying.
•    Post war Justice – disappearances / lack of housing / lack of educational opportunities, job opportunities.











 


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