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Sunday, 20 September 2015





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Pooja Umashankar at EDEX

Pooja Umashankar(centre) at the ILO supported Job fair, the EDEX Mid-year Expo held in Colombo,

Renowned actress Pooja Umashankar joined the International Labour Organization (ILO) on September 5 and 10, 2015, facilitating learning and awareness raising sessions aimed at promoting labour rights and responsibilities in the work place for young people. Both sessions took place during ILO supported Job fairs: the EDEX Mid-year Expo held in Colombo, attracting over 10,000 young visitors and the Ceylon Chamber of Commerce 'Careerlead' organised at Rajarata University in the Anuradhapura district, attracting nearly 5,000 students from several districts in the north and east.

The distinguished actress, who is also a well-known social rights advocate, discussed with former Commissioner of Labour Sarath Ranaweerathe contents of the ILO training tool "Rights at Work for Young People", recently adapted to the Sri Lankan context and labour legislation and object of a country wide dissemination campaign.

Overall the sessions had a gathering of over three hundred young people and were met with enthusiasm from the public. Questions were raised touching upon various themes, including hours of work, leave entitlement and notice period.

Praising the contents of the guide and the awareness raising campaign, Ms. Umashankar said, "Today the familiarity of young people with labour rights legislation is limited. What they know is mostly based on work experience or conversations with colleagues.

Events like this allow us not only to highlight and raise awareness of rights and responsibilities in the workplace, but also bring youth together with experts who can give them valuable advice".

ILO Chief Technical Advisor, Diego Rei appreciating Ms. Umashankar's support, added that the ongoing ILO Youth Employment project aims to tackle the issue through a multi -dimensional approach which includes enhancing awareness of labour rights and responsibilities, but also helping to design a single and coherent policy framework and providing support services for entrepreneurs, innovative approaches to vocational training and employment services for the most vulnerable youth in Sri Lanka.


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