The second Senior Officials Meeting of the ‘Colombo Process’ and the third Asia - EU dialogue, two key intra and inter-regional processes on facilitating managed and legal international labour migration, will get underway in Colombo today (Oct. 15) with the participation of representatives from over 30 countries.
The second senior officials meeting will be held under the theme ‘International Labour Migration for Prosperity: Adding Value by Working Together’ and the third Asia - EU dialogoue will have ‘Strengthening Labour Migration Corridors between Asia - EU Through Enhanced Migration’ as its theme. The events will be held at Hotel Cinnamon Grand.
The Chairmanship of the Colombo Process was transferred from the Bangladesh Government to the Sri Lankan Government during a meeting at the Permanent Mission of Sri Lanka in Geneva on October 21, 2013.
Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera is the current chairman of the organization and will head the proceedings.
The Colombo Process was initiated at the Ministerial Consultations for Asian Labour Exporting Countries held in 2003 in Colombo. The group includes Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, the Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. The countries have met in Manila (2004), Bali (2005), Dhaka (2011) and in Colombo in May 2014, to review and monitor the implementation of previous recommendations and identify areas for future actions.
Meanwhile, the first meeting of the Asia EU Dialogue on Labour Migration took place on April 29 - 30, 2008 in Brussels, within the framework of the Colombo Process.
It is an inter-regional forum which seeks to develop and enhance inter- and intra-regional exchange of ideas and strategies on facilitating managed and legal migration between Asia and the European Union (EU).
The format of this meeting comprises all 11 member countries of the Colombo Process (Afghanistan, Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Nepal, Pakistan, Philippines, Sri Lanka, Thailand, and Vietnam) and all EU 27 countries. It brings together representatives from the different Governmental entities involved in the labour migration process, such as ministries of labour, employment, immigration, expatriate welfare, specialized agencies, embassies etc., as well as experts from outside the Governmental sphere.
This year the focus will be on issues such as giving due recognition to the contribution of migrant workers to the economic progress of labour receiving countries, new laws to ensure the rights, promote cheaper, faster and safer transfer of remittances, effective per-departure orientation, develop a data base on the economic trends of destination countries etc.