Sri Lanka - ‘Technical Assistance to the Government of Sri Lanka for the Implementation of the Readmission Agreement with the EU’ (2018-2020)

The Support Action contributed to the effective implementation of the 2005 EU–Sri Lanka Readmission Agreement through the provision of technical support and reinforcing the capacity of the government to develop a national Return and Reintegration Policy.

The project enhanced the capacity of the Government of Sri Lanka to smoothly process readmission applications through the new electronic and secure Readmission Case Management System with greater transparency and accountability, the e-RCMS, which replaced the previous one set up by IOM in 2012. The implementation of this user-friendly tool which enables more efficient readmission cooperation between Sri Lanka and the EU was finalized in May 2020 and established at the Department of Immigration and Emigration (DIE). The new system meets better newly emerging needs and requirements along with IOM’s policy and operational support extended to the National Coordinating Committee on Readmission, set up within the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The e-RCMS now enables the issuance of temporary/emergency travel documents with security features to undocumented persons whose return to Sri Lanka is requested by host country authorities in the EU. It also assists Sri Lankan authorities involved in readmission (such as Sri Lanka Diplomatic missions in the EU, immigration and police at the airport) and other law enforcement agencies in processing readmission applications and clearance at the port of entry. More information can be found here.

After launching the e-RCMS, IOM also made a significant step towards further strengthening the identity management framework of Sri Lanka by successfully completing the integration of identity verification services between the Registrar General’s Department (RGD) and Department of Registration of Persons with the e-RCMS at DIE in December 2020. e-RCMS links are being efficiently and effectively used by DIE, enabling a credible identity verification service in support of the readmission process. In the past, establishment of the identity of persons was a key challenge in the readmission process in Sri Lanka, given that identity management has been under the responsibility of many government agencies that, despite their digital databases being capable of information verification, had no link with the e-RCMS at DIE.

In addition, the EURCAP Facility also contributed towards achieving progress in negotiating the Implementation protocols to the EU-Sri Lanka Readmission Agreement with several EU Member States, including France, Italy, The Netherlands (on behalf of Benelux countries), Romania, Poland, Germany and Bulgaria.