Ministry Rubbishes Rape Charges

Daily Mirror |  By  | June, 13 2011 |  Share  | Source Article

Campaign: Classic/Jordan-Sweatshop Abuse, Sexual Predators

Saturday, 11 June 2011 07:13  

The Foreign Employment Promotion and Welfare Ministry said yesterday it had not  received complaints regarding the alleged rape of Sri Lankan women in a garment  factory in Jordan.

The ministry said it had contacted the Labour and Welfare officers at Sri Lankan  Embassy in Jordan and they had confirmed that none of the workers had made  complaints of that nature.

"Some of our labour officers had gone to the factory to investigate the reports  and they said they had not received such complaints," Foreign Employment  Promotion and Welfare Minister Dilan Perera said.

He said the Sri Lankan Embassy in Jordan had looked into the matter and added  that the ministry would write to the "Institute of Global Labour and Human  Rights" regarding the allegations.

"These are serious allegations and we are looking at them very carefully," he  said.

Meanwhile, the Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE) too claimed that  the report made by the US based organization was baseless as the Bureau had not  received such complains.

It said it promoted job opportunities in factories as they were much safer than  jobs in houses and stressed they would not send an employee to a factory against  which there were black marks or doubts.

"A majority of Sri Lankans work in these factories and many of them would not  stand by and watch something like this happen," SLFBE Chairman Kingsley Ranawaka  said. He said these workers would take some form of action if such a situation  had arisen like halting the flow of work in the factory.

Mr. Ranawaka said if complaints were made it would conduct investigations and  look into the matter. "Such baseless allegations are only an insult to the women  who work there as they will be the ones to face the society when they return," he  said. "We have so many workers there and therefore there is some chance of  hearing about it, we like to know from where this rights organization got such  information."

An organization calling itself the Institute for Global Labour and Human Rights  had in a report alleged that scores of young Sri Lankan women working  seamstresses in a Jordan garment factory called ‘Classic factory' are alleged to  have suffered routine sexual abuse and repeated rape, and in some cases even  torture. (Nabeela Hussain )



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