Press Release —Local November 20, 2020


Launch of the UN Network on Migration in Sri Lanka

UN Migration Network Launched in Sri Lanka

Wednesday 12 November 2020

Colombo – The UN Network on Migration in Sri Lanka was formally launched virtually on 11 November 2020 by the International Organization for Migration (IOM), the UN Resident Coordinator and 11 UN entities in Sri Lanka in partnership with the Government of Sri Lanka.  Foreign Minister Dinesh Gunawardena, officiated as the Chief Guest.

Also participating in this important event were Hanaa Singer, the UN Resident Coordinator, representatives of UN agencies, and other distinguished guests representing the Government of Sri Lanka, migrants, diasporas, local communities, civil society, academia, the private sector, parliamentarians, trade unions, national human rights institutions, the media and other relevant stakeholders.

The overall aim of the Network is to promote migration policies that support the well-being of migrants and societies in a coherent, holistic and balanced manner, and aligned with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). It is intended to facilitate effective and coordinated support to the Government of Sri Lanka towards strengthening of migration policies, including the implementation, monitoring and review of the Global Compact for Safe, Orderly and Regular Migration (GCM). Going forward, the protection of the rights and welfare of migrants will be part of the mandate of all UN member agencies and as Network members, they will come together to maximize a collaborative approach.

“We remain committed to engage closely with the Government of Sri Lanka to ensure that migration can continue to promote the country’s socioeconomic development whilst safeguarding the rights and wellbeing of its migrant workers,” said Hanaa Singer.  

Sri Lanka was an active contributor to the development of the GCM and been a consistent advocate on its specified aims. The government endorsed the GCM in December 2018 as it complements national policy frameworks and development plans focused on migration governance and has expressed its interest towards the implementation of the GCM to ensure safe, orderly, and regular migration of Sri Lankan nationals.

“The Government of Sri Lanka looks forward to engaging closely with the UN Network on Migration and our long-standing trusted partner, the international Organization for Migration, drawing on the knowledge and expertise that best benefits the people of Sri Lanka,” said Dinesh Gunawardane, Foreign Minister of Sri Lanka.

Under the aegis of the UN Resident Coordinator, IOM serves as the Coordinator and Secretariat of all constituent parts of the Network.

“IOM reaffirms its willingness to support the Government of Sri Lanka, and the establishment of this Network is therefore a highly significant development. It will enable IOM, the UN system, and other stakeholders to work together to ensure the safety, dignity and protection of all migrant workers,” said Sarat Dash, IOM Chief of Mission in Sri Lanka. 

In carrying out its mandate, the Network will employ a rights-based approach to ensure the well-being of migrants and their communities. It will place emphasis on those issues where a common UN system approach would add value and from which results and impact can be readily gauged. 

Live stream of the event is available at:

The video produced to launch the Network in Sri Lanka can be accessed at:

For more information, please contact:- UN Network on Migration in Sri Lanka ||