Migrant Risks

Oct 16, 2008 (LBO) – The Asian Human Rights Commission (AHRC) has urged Sri Lanka to help three workers facing execution in Saudi Arabia saying the government should do more for migrant workers who earn foreign exchange. “The imminent execution of three Sri Lankans on the Saudi Arabian death row can be prevent only by the Sri Lankan government providing legal fees for their appeals in time,” it said in a statement.

The AHRC called on people in Sri Lanka and elsewhere to write to the Sri Lankan government about its obligations and the government of Saudi Arabia calling for clemency to be exercised.

The three workers have been accused of murder and robbery.

Migrant workers are a key course of foreign exchange for Sri Lanka and help keep the island economy afloat.

The AHRC said the Sri Lankan government has an obligation to ensure a fair trial for the accused in the Gulf state and that providing legal fees should also be looked at from the point of view of the rights of migrant workers.

“Migrant workers are one of the main earners of foreign exchange for the country,” the human rights body said.

“They work under very harsh conditions and are very vulnerable to abuse. They have hardly any lega