Migrants in the Gulf: ‘Dormant’ data and its Implications for Labour Markets in Sri Lanka

Presenter: Dr Nilesh Fernando, Research Associate

According to recent estimates, Gulf states alone account for more than 1.5 million temporary Sri Lankan workers or nearly 20% of the labour force. This means that for every five people in Sri Lanka’s labour force, one is working in the Gulf.

This talk brought ‘new’ data to bear on labour migration and scarcity in Sri Lanka. In doing so, it charted out a research agenda that attempted to evaluate (1) Sri Lanka’s regulatory policy and migrant welfare, and (2) the implications of migration for structural change in Sri Lanka.