ECONOMYNEXT – Sri Lanka has repatriated all detained migrant workers in Saudi Arabia with the last batch of 103 workers flown back to the island on May 19, Embassy of Sri Lanka in Riyadh said in a statement.
The repatriated workers had been held in detention centers in Riyadh and Jeddah.
“This is the last leg of the repatriation process initiated by the Embassy of Sri Lanka in April 2021,” the statement read.
“With this latest cluster, a total of 180 individuals, 49 women and 131 men, have been brought back to Sri Lanka.”
Sri Lanka has repatriated 334 deportees since July 2020 from Saudi Arabia.
A report published by Amnesty International on April 15 claimed at least 41 Sri Lankan women, a majority of whom are workers who have overstayed their visas or have run away from their employers without an exit permit, have been arbitrarily detained at a Deportation Detention (Tarheel) Centre in Riyadh for over eight to 18 months.
However, the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment denying reports of arbitrary detention in a deportation centre, claiming instead that the workers were housed at a welfare center run by the Saudi government. (Colombo/May20/2021)