Minister of Women s Affairs and Child Welfare Sumedha Jayasena informed Parliament that Women and Childcare Authority had received 20 complaints recently for sending children under 18 years for employment abroad.
Speaking during the debate on Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (Amendment Bill) in the House yesterday Minister Jayasena said 26 persons who were involved in these cases have already been arrested.
She also said that there might be more cases of this nature which were not reported and stressed that this trend should be arrested.
The Minister also highlighted the fact that women who worked as domestic aids in the Middle East were also subjected to various harassment at the hands of their employers.
She said this was the reason why the government made arrangements to enact a law which prohibits women with children under five years leaving the island for employment abroad.
It is better to prohibit all women going abroad for employment totally because the children suffer so much without their mothers, but it is not possible as families undergo economic strains which compel them to go overseas for employment, she said.
However, she said there were instances where little girls were abused by their fathers when their mothers were away. Children essentially need protection in this regard, she said.