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Image courtesy of Sanjeewa Dayarathne (www.Feedback.lk)

Sri Lanka’s labour ministry said Tuesday it wants women who are hired to work abroad as maids to be paid at least 150 dollars a month before it approves allowing them to take assignments. Sri Lanka’s labour ministry said Tuesday it wants women who are hired to work abroad as maids to be paid at least 150 dollars a month before it approves allowing them to take assignments. More than one million Sri Lankans work abroad, mainly as housemaids, bringing in over a billion dollars in remittances annually. The country’s labour ministry oversees permits for the workers including insurance if they fall sick or need to travel back home quickly.

“Unless they earn at least 150 dollars a month, it is not worth their leaving the families and travelling abroad to work,” labour ministry spokesman H. A. Samarasinghe said.

The government will not provide insurance cover and take responsibility for women seeking employment overseas as housemaids if their wages are not above the minimum standard specified, Samarasinghe said.

He said most of the Sri Lankan housemaids in the Middle East and countries like Singapore were paid 100 dollars a month and the authorities here felt they could earn that