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Social Welfare and Social Security in Sri Lankan Fisheries
  • :Oscar Amarasinghe
  • :2005
  • :73
  • :SAMUDRA Monograph

Since Sri Lanka’s independence in 1948, social welfare for the country’s fishing populations has been the responsibility of successive governments. During the latter half of the last millennium, the State has been channelling huge amounts of public funds into a number of social welfare and social security measures. However, the emphasis has mainly been on promotional welfare measures, such as housing, sanitation, infrastructure and training. Among the common problems in the delivery of such measures are regional disparities in the distribution of benefits (with the southern regions receiving the lion’s share), and expenditure on welfare dwindling with a change of government.

If social security measures are defined, as by the ILO, to include medical care, sickness benefit, unemployment benefit, old-age benefit, employment injury benefit, family benefit, maternity benefit, invalidity benefit and survivors’ benefit, then only the Fishermen’s Pension and Social Security Benefit Scheme provides some kind of social security for Sri Lanka’s fishing populations. There is an urgent need to address the social security issues of deep-sea fishworkers, women and children.