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[Event] Report Launch – Threads of Injustice: Exploitation of Garment workers in Export Processing Zones (EPZs), Sri Lanka.

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Date: Wednesday, 15 March 2023

Time: 09.00 AM (CMB)

Venue:  Golden Star Hotel, Negombo, Sri Lanka / Livestream on YouTube


The poor working conditions faced by garment workers in Sri Lanka’s Export Processing Zones (EPZs) is concerning. Various human rights violations and safety concerns is faced by workers, particularly female and transgender workers, who are exposed to sexual harassment and abuse in the workplace. The majority of garment workers are women, yet they are mostly concentrated in low-paying and low-skilled jobs within the sector. Workers are forced to perform dangerous tasks without any safety gear or training and are also made to pay for their own protective equipment, such as face masks, uniforms, and COVID-19 tests amid the pandemic.

Moreover, factories in the EPZs pressure workers to meet unrealistic production targets, negatively impacting their physical and mental health. Workers do not even have time to eat, drink water, or use the toilet, leading to severe health issues. The workers are not allowed to form or join unions, violating their fundamental right to peaceful assembly and association. Those who do try to form unions risk losing their jobs, making it difficult for them to raise their voices against these injustices.  The contrast between the rapid growth of the Sri Lankan apparel sector and the lack of progress for workers is stark. Despite the sector’s growth, workers have not received increased wages or improved working conditions.

We are pleased to invite you to the launch of a new report by FORUM-ASIA and Law and Society Trust Sri Lanka on the poor working conditions in Sri Lanka’s Export Processing Zones (EPZs). The report highlights the various human rights violations and safety concerns faced by workers, particularly female and transgender workers, in the EPZs.


  • Rashmini de Silva – Researcher, Law and Society Trust
  • Chamila Thushari – Programme Coordinator, Dabindu Workers Collective
  • Ashila Dandeniya – Founder, Standup Movement Sri Lanka
  • Lakmali Hemachandra – Attorney-at-Law

For more information about this event, contact [email protected]