Special announcement by the National Anti-Human Trafficking Task Force
Chaired by the Ministry of Defence

August 09, 2022

It has been reported to us that some foreign employment agents in Sri Lanka are sending foreign workers to various countries under tourist visas, saying that they can later change them to work visas, and as a result, these workers have become victims of human trafficking.

Due to this, especially the Malaysian immigration authorities are taking strict measures to check the holders of tourist visas and since the last few months, about 20 foreign immigrants who are not allowed to enter the country have been deported directly to Sri Lanka from the airport.

The amnesty granted to illegal immigrants to leave Malaysia has ended on June 30, 2022 and the law enforcement agencies in Malaysia are working to arrest and imprison foreigners without valid visas by conducting continuous raids, and after the workers are released, they will have to leave the country at their own cost. They will be held in a designated detention center pending deportation.

As it has been reported to them that the workers who are being tricked and sent to Malaysia are forced by fraudulent foreign employment agents to work under very inhumane conditions for very little wages and without any labor rights, the Task Force informs Sri Lankan citizens who wish seek foreign employment to keep in mind that "visit visas to Malaysia cannot be converted into work visa upon arrival".

Also, the task force urges all prospective migrants who seek foreign employment opportunities to go through legitimate and genuine agencies and advises them to register with the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) through proper channels before leaving Sri Lanka.