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Sri Lanka: Stranded migrant workers, mostly women, in Middle East plead Govt. to facilitate return home amid COVID-19

"Stranded migrant workers plead to return to Sri Lanka", 27 November 2020

...[H]undreds of migrant workers stranded in the Middle East amid the Covid-19 pandemic after losing her job four months ago...many migrant workers have appeared in videos on social media asking the Sri Lankan government to bring them home as soon as possible.

They have been waiting to return since April. Gulf countries are the most popular destination for female migrant workers from Sri Lanka among the 200,000 who seek work abroad every year.

Some workers who lost their jobs stay in accommodation provided by their employees, others receive help from fellow Sri Lankan workers. But with the gradual increase in the number of coronavirus infections, more people face difficulties.

...With a second wave of infections in Sri Lanka, the government temporarily suspended the travel of migrant workers. The government has started to bring back migrant workers according to the space available in quarantine centers.

About 90 Sri Lankan migrants have died abroad from coronavirus. The majority are low-skilled workers in the Middle East.

The country receives up to US$7 billion in remittances from migrant workers, especially those who work in the Middle East. Most are women employed as domestic workers and caregivers...