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