Supporting Grass-Roots Activities through the International Employers’ and Workers’ Network (SGRA) Project in Sri Lanka (June)

Informal-sector workers on the outskirts of Colombo: a day-labour porter

JILAF visited Colombo from June 26 (Tuesday) to 30 (Saturday) on the occasion of the fiscal 2018 start of the SGRA project (Supporting Grass-Roots Activities through the International Employers’ and Workers’ Network), which JILAF is implementing with grants from the Japanese government (Ministry of Health, Labour, and Welfare). Discussions focused on annual plans and specific activities based on the fiscal 2018 project policy.

JILAF began SGRA outreach programs in Vietnam and Sri Lanka in fiscal 2017. In light of the results, as pilot projects, various activities will be conducted during the current fiscal year aimed at improving the livelihoods and raising the basic living standards of informal-sector workers in these two countries.

During JILAF’s visit, the first meeting of the Outreach Central Promotion Committee was held to consider and discuss annual plans, specific activity content, and other matters. The committee was made up of representatives from Sri Lanka’s central government, labour, and management (the Sri Lankan Ministry of Labour, Ceylon Workers’ Congress [CWC], and Employers’ Federation of Ceylon [EFC]), as well as the International Labour Organization (ILO) and JILAF.

In Sri Lanka, pilot projects are scheduled to be held this year on the outskirts of the capital, Colombo, and in the mountainous area of Nuwara Eliya. The scheduled occupations of the targeted informal-sector workers in these districts are, on the outskirts of Colombo, street vendors, domestic workers, disabled persons, and so on, and in Nuwara Eliya, small-scale farm workers and the unemployed. Activities for these informal-sector workers will include the holding of Life Support Seminars to provide them with livelihood improvement information, vocational skill development training, and consideration of the establishment of mutual-aid organizations. The experience, track record, and know-how gained from implementation of the SGRA project in other countries (Thailand, Nepal, Bangladesh, and Laos) will be put to active use in the development of these activities.


06/26Tue1st Outreach Central Promotion Committee meeting
06/27WedInspection of informal-sector workers in Colombo

Photos of the Participants

Scene of the 1st Outreach Central Promotion Committee meeting

Street vendors working on the outskirts of Colombo

Scene of a market on the outskirts of Colombo