Only 12 out of 77 females in SL embassy safehouse in Oman are registered with SLBFE

The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) says that among the 77 Sri Lankan females currently at a Sri Lankan Embassy safehouse in Oman, only 12 have left Sri Lanka after registering themselves with the SLBFE.

Meanwhile the Foreign Employment Minister Manusha Nanayakkara told Parliament yesterday that the Sri Lanka Foreign Employment Bureau was unable to help bring back those who had not registered with the bureau and that cabinet approval has been granted recently to help those who were in shelters who had not registered with the SLBFE.

He added that 77 women were in a shelter in Oman out of which 12 persons had gone on tourist visa without registering and 65 others had not registered with the SLFBE.

In Dubai, he said there were 70 women in shelters who had registered and 7 who had gone on tourist visas.

The Embassy of Sri Lanka in Muscat recently said that it has received an increasing number of complaints daily from Sri Lankan female domestic workers who arrived in Oman.

According to the embassy, a majority of them have arrived on visit or tourist visas intending to convert them to work visas.

Many of them have been trafficked by unscrupulous and unregistered agents and they have faced tremendous difficulties including various harassment, the embassy said in a statement.

At present, nearly 90 Sri Lankan female domestic workers are stranded in Oman seeking repatriation assistance. They are unable to afford the repatriation-related expenses such as visa, overstay penalty, air ticket, agent fees, and the cost of recruitment demanded by their respective sponsors.

These female victims were sheltered at the safe house for which the expenses are borne by the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE). The embassy provides welfare facilities to these female workers which include medical assistance.

The embassy has been continuously coordinating with the Omani authorities to facilitate the early repatriation of these migrant workers. During this year, the embassy was able to facilitate the repatriation of over 240 female workers.

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