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Middle East Institute

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Women migrant labor -- Middle East, Sri Lankans -- Employment -- Foreign countries, Sri Lankans -- Migrations, Women household employees -- Middle East -- Social conditions


Several waves of Sri Lankan migration have taken place since the country gained independence in 1948. Beginning in the mid-1950s, wealthy, educated, English-speaking elites have migrated to Commonwealth countries such as Australia and the United Kingdom. In addition, since the upsurge in ethnic hostilities in the early 1980s, Tamil-speaking Hindu migrants have left the country, with many settling in Canada. In contrast with these permanent migrants, since 1976 a growing number of Sri Lankans have become migrant workers. The leading destination for this migrant labor force — the majority of whom are women — has been the Gulf.


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