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Sri Lankan labor law reform faces uproar from Rights Groups


Amnesty International, Clean Clothes Campaign, and Human Rights Watch are calling for a halt to Sri Lanka's proposed labor law reforms. The organizations allege the reforms would weaken worker protections and violate international standards.

These concerns echo those of Sri Lankan unions and civil society groups who have been protesting the reforms for months. The proposed changes reportedly remove international minimum standards like the eight-hour workday and protections against unfair dismissal. Additionally, limitations on overtime pay, annual leave, and freedom of association are worrying signs for worker rights.

Aruna Kashyap from Human Rights Watch stresses the importance of transparency and consultation, warning that implementing these reforms without adequate discussion could have severe consequences for Sri Lanka's garment industry and worker protections.

Ineke Zeldenrust from Clean Clothes Campaign emphasizes the vulnerable position of workers during the economic crisis, noting that Sri Lankan workers urgently require legal safeguards and strong unions. She expressed concern that the reforms might violate international labor and human rights standards.

The Sri Lankan government has not yet responded to the criticism. The proposed reforms come at a time of economic hardship for the country, with many Sri Lankans struggling to afford basic necessities. Weakening worker protections could exacerbate these issues and lead to further unrest.



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