IOM recognizes that the core need behind addressing the vulnerabilities of migrants is to determine how to effectively raise their levels of resilience to current and future stresses. To this end, the situation of each migrant participating in socio-economic resilience building activities is contextualized within their communities’ physical, social and economic wellbeing and resources and, at the same time, integrated with Government services.
IMMIGRATION AND BORDER MANAGEMENT
IOM’s Immigration and Border Management programmes will continue to assist the Government in achieving the twin objectives of maintaining national security and fostering economic development, at a time when the country is experiencing an increased cross border movement of people and goods as a result of rapidly rising trade and tourism, a revitalized economy, and increased economic and cultural ties with other countries. IOM will provide support to the newly established National Border Management Committee (NBMC) and its Member Agencies in the core areas of integrated border management, improvements to border management information systems and travel document issuance systems, identity management, data management, migration intelligence and risk analysis, and training and capacity building for border and migration officials.
FACILITATED MIGRATION SERVICES AND OPERATIONS
IOM is uniquely positioned to assist governments seeking solutions to the challenges faced by their overseas visa and immigration offices in processing more complex and increasing caseloads with limited resources. With visa and immigration fraud as an ever-present challenge, governments are increasingly looking to trusted external service providers to facilitate reliable and affordable document integrity and verification solutions in support of sound visa decision-making and risk analysis skills in immigration-related matters.
Recognizing the tremendous benefits that Sri Lankan migrant workers bring to the national economy and society and the risks they face through their foreign employment, IOM will continue to support the Ministry of Foreign Employment in the implementation of its long term vision and commitment to labour migration as enshrined in the 2008 National Labour Migration Policy. The Policy is currently under review and aims to address migrants’ rights, protection and welfare. Along with a large outgoing workforce, Sri Lanka is gradually evolving into a country of destination for several thousand migrant workers from neighboring countries as a result of labour shortages in certain job sectors. Hence, there is a need for IOM’s policy and operational support to the government in planning and implementing effective inbound labour migration processes and frameworks for the first time in the country.
IOM’s migration health activities in Sri Lanka work towards the vision enshrined in the 2013 National Migration Health Policy, one of the first of its kind in the region, which recognizes that migrants and mobile populations benefit from an improved standard of physical, mental and social wellbeing, which enables them to substantially contribute towards the social and economic development of their home communities and host societies.
SOCIAL COHESION AND RECONCILIATION
IOM’s approach to social cohesion and reconciliation in Sri Lanka advances the implementation of the Peacebuilding Priority Plan, which supports the efforts of the Government’s broader actions in promoting reconciliation, accountability and human rights in Sri Lanka. It also supports three major undertakings of the Government of Sri Lanka (GoSL): 1) Sri Lanka’s implementation of the UN Human Rights Council Resolution which GoSL subscribed to in September 2015; 2) Sri Lanka’s National Policy on Durable Solutions for Conﬂict-Affected Displacement approved by Cabinet in 2016, and; 3) GoSL’s overall National Policy on Reconciliation introduced in 2017. IOM’s work on social cohesion and reconciliation aims to contribute to building a Sri Lankan society which works towards the well-being of all its members, ﬁghts exclusion and marginalisation, creates a sense of belonging, promotes trust, and offers its members the opportunity of upward social mobility. Civil society’s engagement is an integral feature of IOM’s work in this space.
DISASTER RISK REDUCTION AND CLIMATE RESILIENCE
From 2005 onwards, it is hard to identify a year where Sri Lanka’s weather pattern of two monsoons and two inter-monsoons have arrived at normal times and with normal volumes. Droughts, flood and landslide incidents in quick succession, within a few months of each other and alternating within the same districts, affected the same vulnerable communities and further eroded their capacity to cope. The compounded impacts of multiple disasters also impact the capacity of communities to prepare for and reduce risk to future events, including the impacts of climate change. Sri Lanka faces a multitude of natural hazards including seasonal flooding and drought caused by uneven rainfalls, landslides set off by natural and human causes, violent winds and tropical cyclones. Hazard risks are combined with numerous environmental issues including post-conflict landscapes and other areas suffering from land degradation and deforestation, scarcity of water, resource extraction and coastal erosion. In line with the Sri Lanka Disaster Management Plan 2018-2030 and the National Action Plan for Climate Change Adaptation, IOM will continue to work with the national Government, local authorities, humanitarian partners and affected communities to better prepare for and build resilience to disasters and climate change.