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(Sep 11, 2012) The Government of Sri Lanka is planning to revise the country's 2006 immigration law, with the goal of curtailing illegal smuggling of migrants. A draft law has been prepared based on the recommendations of a committee made up of members from the Foreign Affairs Ministry and the office of the Attorney General. (Sri Lanka Tighten [sic] Laws to Curtail Human Smuggling, COLOMBO PAGE (Sept. 1, 2012); Immigrants and Emigrants (Amendment) Act, No. 31 of 2006 (Sept. 26, 2006), available at REFWORLD.)
Among the changes contemplated are enhanced punishments for human smugglers, but not for the illegal migrants themselves. Those convicted of profiting from exploiting migrants will lose their assets and be subject to terms of imprisonment of up to 20 years (Sri Lanka Tighten [sic] Laws to Curtail Human Smuggling, supra), a big increase from the current penalty of one to five years (Immigrants and Emigrants (Amendment) Act, art. 3).
Chulananda Perera, the Controller of Immigration and Emigration, said of the planned revision, "[w]e have proposed [the] maximum possible punishment to those who have made human smuggling a business while risking the lives of thousands of unsuspecting victims. We have to take a sympathetic view on the victims and will not increase the existing prison term of three months where they are concerned." (Sri Lanka Tighten [sic] Laws to Curtail Human Smuggling, supra.)
Many illegal migrants leave
- Author: Constance Johnson More by this author
- Topic: Immigration More on this topic
- Jurisdiction: Sri Lanka More about this jurisdiction
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Last updated: 09/11/2012