Ranjan Kurian

Project Manager at HELVETAS Swiss Intercooperation - Sri Lanka

Active in Country: Sri Lanka

DTP Alumnus: 2015 Migrant Workers Modules 1-5 - Sri Lanka


We need human rights defenders who are committed to human rights values. Hence, I feel training human rights defenders is very much needed in today’s world.

Ranjan manages the Safe Labour Migration Project of Helvetas in Sri Lanka focusing on ‘safe and informed migration contributing to enhanced benefits for Sri Lankan migrant workers’.   The project aims to build the capacity of state officials and civil society organisations to provide more efficient and effective service to migrant workers and their families. Ranjan directly works with migrants and their families at a grassroot level, as well as NGOs and government institutions.  

Helvetas recognises migration as a key development issue in Sri Lanka, with millions of Sri Lankan women and men going overseas, leaving their communities and families and sending back remittances that have become a significant part of Sri Lanka’s GDP.   There are very high human costs to this migration.

Lobbying for the inclusion of migrant’s rights in the national, regional and global policies is a must! The marginalized and disadvantaged groups of migrants can only benefit when the values of human rights are realised!

Helvetas in Sri Lanka was the local partner for the DTP/MFA capacity building program on the rights of migrant workers in 2014/15.  Ranjan helped to organise and was a participant in this program, and Ranjan was subsequently appointed to lead the Helvetas program on migration in Sri Lanka. 

I was fortunate to be part of the training programmes as it helped me to increase my knowledge about the international process/mechanisms related to labour migration. Further, the programme helped me enhance my network with different organisations/individuals to explore options for joint advocacy work.

Ranjan says the DTP/MFA training program helped him engage with various policies and reviews about labour migration on a national, regional and global level, and at most recently for the 25th Session of the UN Committee on the Protection of the Rights of All Migrant Workers and Members of their Families (CMW) in August 2016.

The knowledge I gained has helped me to facilitate civil society organisations to come together to contribute a shadow report that was subsequently submitted to the UN Committee on (CMW) – see report. And recently, we are also in the process of facilitating civil society organizations to make contributions towards the ongoing National Labour Migration Act reform.


Profile written November 2017