Sri Lanka: Situation and treatment of Tamils, including single Tamil women; ability to relocate to Colombo, including access to housing, education, employment, and health care; the method and ability of the government or paramilitaries to track Tamils, including single Tamil women, upon relocating to Colombo; impact of COVID-19 in Colombo (2020–April 2022)
According to the ["most recent available" (Australia 23 Dec. 2021, para. 3.2)] Sri Lanka Census of Population and Housing conducted in 2012, Sri Lankan Tamils constitute 11.2 percent of the country's population of 20.3 million, while "Indian Tamil[s]" constitute 4.2 percent (Sri Lanka 2012). Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT) states that Tamils constitute 15 percent of Sri Lanka's population of 21.8 million, and "[o]ver one-quarter of the Tamil population (and 4.1 per cent of Sri Lanka's total population) are of Indian origin and are known as Plantation Tamils, Hill Country Tamils or Up-Country Tamils" (Australia 23 Dec. 2021, para. 2.6). Minority Rights Group International (MRG) indicates that two groups of Tamils exist: "'Sri Lankan Tamils' (also known as 'Ceylon' or 'Jaffna' Tamils) are the descendants of Tamil-speaking groups who migrated from southern India many centuries ago, and 'Up Country Tamils' (also known as 'Indian' or 'estate' Tamils), who are descendants of comparatively recent immigrants" (MRG Mar. 2018).
Sources note that Tamil is one of Sri Lanka's official languages (Australia 23 Dec. 2021, para. 2.6; US 12 Apr. 2022) or national languages (MRG Mar. 2018; US 12 Apr. 2022) and is spoken by 28.5 percent of the population according to estimates from 2012 (US 12 Apr. 2022). According to DFAT, Tamil is "mostly" used in the "north, east and hill country" (Australia 23 Dec. 2021, para. 2.6). In correspondence with the Research Directorate, from the Executive Director of Law & Society Trust (LST), a non-profit organization in Sri Lanka that aims to promote and protect human rights through legal research and advocacy (LST n.d.), indicated that "despite the constitutional provisions making Tamil an official language, it is absent in all government communications, circulars, notices, etc." (Executive Director 16 Mar. 2022).
The 2012 census reports that "Sri Lankan Tamil[s]" constitute 10 percent of Colombo's 2.3 million population, while "Indian Tamil[s]" constitute 1.2 percent (Sri Lanka 2012). DFAT notes that Colombo "has attracted Tamils and Muslims from other parts of the country in search of greater economic opportunities. Many Tamils and Muslims also moved to Colombo during the war, to escape the fighting in the north and east" (Australia 23 Dec. 2021, para. 3.2). In an interview with the Research Directorate, an assistant professor at Madras Christian College in India who focuses on peace, conflict, and foreign policy in Sri Lanka indicated that there are "a good number" of Tamils currently living in Colombo, 4 to 5 percent of whom belong to higher castes (Assistant Professor 21 Mar. 2022).
2. Situation and Treatment of Tamils
A report on a fact-finding mission to Sri Lanka by the UK Home Office, conducted from 28 September to 5 October 2019, indicates, citing interviews with Sri Lanka's Attorney General's Department, the Tamil National Alliance (TNA) [political party] and a journalist, that Tamils "are not specifically targeted and do not suffer persecution just for being a Tamil"; however, according to an interview with the UNHCR, Tamils "do suffer discrimination along with other minorities" (UK 20 Jan. 2020, para. 2.1.1). In correspondence with the Research Directorate, an associate professor of anthropology at Santa Clara University in California who conducts research on gender and place-making practices among Tamils in Sri Lanka indicated that, since "the return and consolidation of the Rajapaksa family" in November 2019 with the election of President Gotabaya Rajapaksa and Prime Minister Mahinda Rajapaksa, there have been
unwarranted attacks on Tamil minority civilians. Additionally, since the change in leadership, the Government of Sri Lanka has directly disregarded previous commitments to human rights and transitional justice. These include those resolutions and commitments publicly mandated by international human rights actors, including the United Nations, UN Security Council, international human rights organizations, and Sri Lanka's Office of Missing Persons (OMP). (Associate Professor 1 Apr. 2022)
Human Rights Watch (HRW) indicates that since the current "Sinhala nationalist government" took power in November 2019, it has "adopted discriminatory policies and practices against the country's Muslim and Tamil minorities" (HRW 2 Mar. 2021). The Guardian reports that Sri Lanka is "as segregated as ever, with the Sinhalese Buddhist-majority concentrated in the wealthy south and the Tamils in the less-developed and heavily militarised north and east of the country" (The Guardian 26 Mar. 2022). According to a report by the UN Human Rights Council, Tamils and Muslims "are being increasingly marginalized and excluded from the national vision and government policy, while divisive and discriminatory rhetoric from State officials at the highest levels risks generating further polarization and violence" (UN 9 Feb. 2021, para. 53). For example, Associated Press (AP) reports that the government "declined to sing the national anthem in Tamil" during Independence Day celebrations in February 2020 (AP 4 Feb. 2020).
The Associate Professor indicated that since the independence of Sri Lanka in 1948, Tamils experience discrimination as a result of
- social norms of ethnic discrimination;
- legal mechanisms to provide less representation and resources to their communities; and
- state-sponsored and extrajudicial forms of direct violence carried out by law enforcement— including the Sri Lanka Police, Special Task Force, Army, and Navy. (Associate Professor 1 Apr. 2022)
The Assistant Professor noted that high caste Tamils and Sinhalese can interact with each other without problems; however, Tamils who belong to lower castes are "always competing" with the Sinhalese for work and are "accused of taking their jobs" (Assistant Professor 21 Mar. 2022). DFAT states that "[s]ome members of the Tamil community report discrimination in employment, particularly in relation to government jobs, though other sources suggest this is because many Tamils speak neither Sinhala nor English" (Australia 23 Dec. 2021, para. 3.5). According to Freedom House, "Tamils report systematic discrimination in areas including government employment, university education, and access to justice" (Freedom House 4 Mar. 2021, Sec. F4).
According to the Guardian, the Prevention of Terrorism Act (PTA) passed in 1979 "has been a stain on Sri Lanka's human rights record, enabling arbitrary arrest, detention without charge or evidence, forced confessions and torture of anyone suspected of terrorism" (The Guardian 26 Mar. 2022). However, the same source reports that the Rajapaksa government has "denied all abuses of the PTA" (The Guardian 26 Mar. 2022). Tamil Guardian, an online news portal that reports on Tamil issues, states that the PTA "has been linked to cases of enforced disappearances, sexual violence and torture," and that "[d]espite domestic and international calls for the PTA to be repealed," the Rajapaksa government continues to use it to arrest Tamils and Muslims (Tamil Guardian 26 Apr. 2022). Freedom House notes that police and security forces "have engaged in extrajudicial executions, forced disappearances, custodial rape, and torture, all of which disproportionately affect Tamils" (Freedom House 4 Mar. 2021, Sec. F3).
For further information on the treatment of Tamil citizens in Sri Lanka, including suspected members or supporters of the Liberation Tigers of Tamil Eelam (LTTE), and treatment of non-Tamil supporters of the LTTE by the government, see Response to Information Request LKA200298 of August 2020.
2.1 Single Tamil Women
The Associate Professor stated that "[o]n a day-to-day level, Tamil women specifically experience discrimination, sexual harassment, and unwanted attention and surveillance from Sri Lankan authorities, including from the police, army, navy, and special task force" (Associate Professor 1 Apr. 2022). MRG notes that the conflict between the Sri Lankan military and the LTTE and its "aftermath" put Tamil women at risk of "economic insecurity and sexual violence," and "many" were impacted by the "unsolved disappearances" of men in their families (MRG Dec. 2020, 28). The Associate Professor indicated that, because they are seen as "unattached," single Tamil women "often" experience "sexual harassment," due to the "history of gendered violence" against Tamil women (Associate Professor 1 Apr. 2022). The Guardian reports that in March 2022, "the wives and children of several Tamil men detained under the [PTA] since 2020" held protests outside a government office in Sri Lanka (The Guardian 26 Mar. 2022). The same source reports that according to one of the wives, without her husband they have "'no income. Life is so difficult'" (The Guardian 26 Mar. 2022).
3. Situation of Tamils in Colombo
The Assistant Professor indicated that Tamils "are not treated equally" by the government or authorities in Colombo (Assistant Professor 21 Mar. 2022). The same source further noted that Tamils do not "usually" appeal to the courts or police in Colombo due to "discrimination, animosity, and inequality"; Tamils will sometimes take issues to the police, but "in most cases" the police officers do not file a report (Assistant Professor 21 Mar. 2022). The LST Executive Director stated that while there are "very successful" Tamils working in business or professional fields who "get by and even do well," there are also Tamils in Colombo who "feel vulnerable," since class and location "play a role" (Executive Director 16 Mar. 2022). According to the same source, since Tamil is "absent" from government communication, if an individual does not speak Sinhala, they cannot "interact with officials" (Executive Director 16 Mar. 2022).
3.1 Single Tamil Women in Colombo
The Associate Professor stated that "Sri Lankan soldiers and police officers harass and make suggestive comments towards Tamil women in Colombo" and that single Tamil women have expressed "not feeling safe in public, for example while taking public transit or walking down the street, in boarding houses, or in the workplace (Associate Professor 1 Apr. 2022). The same source further noted that the issues related to housing, education, employment, and health care facing Tamils in Colombo
are compounded by indices of gender, class, and caste. As ethnic minority women, Tamil women specifically have no assurances for their bodily safety and security and protection in public spaces due to patriarchal violence compounded with ethnic discrimination that is sanctioned by the state and socially among majority Sinhala civil society. (Associate Professor 1 Apr. 2022)
The LST Executive Director indicated that single Tamil women in Colombo "generally face challenges dealing with officials" and "have to overcome prejudices in their own family and community" (Executive Director 16 Mar. 2022). According to the Assistant Professor, unmarried Tamil women in Sri Lanka are "always" protected by their families (Assistant Professor 21 Mar. 2022). The same source further stated that married women who live alone, for example because their husbands work abroad, are treated well as society knows the woman has financial means; however, widowed Tamil women are not regarded as human beings and living alone becomes a "sin" (Assistant Professor 21 Mar. 2022). According to the same source, widows are not regarded with "concern" by police, and they are viewed as a "commodity" by society (Assistant Professor 21 Mar. 2022).
3.2 Access to Housing, Education, Employment, and Healthcare in Colombo
Information on access to housing, education, employment, and healthcare for Tamils in Colombo was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.
The LST Executive Director indicated that "[m]any" Tamils seek housing in areas populated by other Tamils (Executive Director 16 Mar. 2022). According to the same source, Tamils in Colombo can attend school in Tamil, but Tamil-language education "may not" be available in areas with a small Tamil population (Executive Director 16 Mar. 2022). Further, while healthcare is accessible to all, language barriers may "inhibit" access for some (Executive Director 16 Mar. 2022).
The information in the following paragraph was provided by the Associate Professor:
The Tamil community experiences "additiona[l]" social "marginaliz[ation]" in Colombo. Although Sri Lanka has a trilingual policy, in Colombo workplaces and public spaces operate "primarily" in Sinhala. Moreover, "most" commercial and official forms are available only in Sinhala. Failure to speak Sinhala in "business" and "official" contexts, such as banks and hospitals, is viewed as a "sign of not belonging" and results in "uneven treatment and discrimination."
As a result, Tamil speakers have unequal access to employment opportunities and income generating activities due to ethnic and linguistic barriers and discrimination and also disparities in housing options, employment and healthcare.
Tamils "struggle" to obtain formal sector employment and "often" seek jobs in the "informal" or "unorganized" sectors. Consequently, they "often" experience "labour violations," including "wage theft," denial of pension or benefits, "maltreatment," and "discrimination" in employee assessment and promotion (Associate Professor 1 Apr. 2022).
3.2.1 Access to Housing, Education, Employment, and Healthcare for Single Tamil Women in Colombo
The LST Executive Director noted that although single Tamil women in Colombo have access to housing, "it is challenging" and "they are preyed upon for living alone"; therefore, "many" choose to live in groups, because it is less expensive and safer (Executive Director 16 Mar. 2022).
The information in the following two paragraphs was provided by the Assistant Professor:
It is "hard" and "not feasible" to relocate to Colombo if an individual does not have any family or relatives currently living there, given that Sri Lanka is a "very traditional society" in which individuals "usually" remain in their home villages. Colombo is also an "expensive" city to live in. While single Tamil women may access housing through a "middleman," landlords will ask why Tamil women are single, including whether their husband was part of the LTTE. Further, if the police learn that a single Tamil woman "is living in a particular area, they will start harassing [not only] the tenant, but also the owner."
There is "a lot of discrimination" in post-secondary admissions and the "better schools are reserved" for the Sinhalese. It is "almost impossible" for single Tamil women from a "humble background" to access to higher education due to a lack of financial resources. Single Tamil women who complete higher education can access employment in shops and small companies. Without higher education, a single Tamil woman may access employment in stores or markets, or as "housemaids." Widows, on the other hand, may only access "menial jobs," such as in restaurants or hotels. It is "easier" to access employment from Tamil-owned businesses. However, women are "always" afraid of being "harassed" at work and "constantly" exist in a state of "emergency" (Assistant Professor 21 Mar. 2022).
According to the Assistant Professor, single Tamil women "generally" have access to primary health centres and state hospitals if they cannot afford private hospitals (Assistant Professor 21 Mar. 2022). The Associate Professor indicated that Tamil women are "particularly … vulnerab[le]" in mainly Sinhala-run hospitals, especially when seeking care for pain; this is the case for all ages, from young girls to pregnant mothers to elderly women (Associate Professor 1 Apr. 2022).
The Associate Professor stated the following:
Those who are specifically experiencing socioeconomic marginalization based on their migration histories from the north, east, and south-central Hill Country areas (primarily Tamil-origin areas) will be flagged by their birthplace, surnames and bodily markers of religious affiliation (Hindu and Christian) when trying to secure housing, education, employment and healthcare. … Additionally, caste compounds with gender and class issues to create further stigmas for Panchamar (caste oppressed) communities who are Hindu or Christian and who experience discrimination in workplaces around practices [around] commensality, socializing, and promotions or unfair treatment by superiors. (Associate Professor 1 Apr. 2022)
3.3 Impact of COVID-19 on the Situation in Colombo
According to Asian News International (ANI), an Indian news agency, "Sri Lanka's economy has been under pressure since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic" (ANI 19 Apr. 2022). The Diplomat, a current affairs magazine focused on events in the Asia-Pacific region (The Diplomat n.d.), citing a human rights lawyer and senior researcher at the Centre for Policy Alternatives in Colombo, Sri Lanka, states the following:
Sri Lanka is facing multiple challenges at present, with the pandemic exacerbating certain issues. The challenges as a result of the lockdowns during 2020 and 2021 impacted livelihoods and exposed the structural inequalities in Sri Lanka. Many communities, including those reliant on daily wage work and the informal sector, faced challenges. The pandemic also exposed the inadequacy of the social welfare programs in Sri Lanka and the inequitable distribution of assistance, with many vulnerable communities not receiving the assistance they require. (The Diplomat 26 Apr. 2022)
Agence France-Presse (AFP) reports that the current "predicament" and protests in Colombo have been "driven by" the pandemic and "exacerbated by government mismanagement and years of accumulated borrowing," which has left the country with "enormous debt" and led to "widespread shortages of essential goods and sharp price rises" (AFP 1 Apr. 2022). According to the Associate Professor, "the recent economic crisis stemming from the government's handling of COVID, the current protests against the current government, and reinstatement of a state of emergency to suppress dissenting opinions and the public" "will continue to negatively impact Tamil women particularly," as they have "less support financially" (Associate Professor 1 Apr. 2022).
The Assistant Professor indicated that the pandemic impacted employment in the garment, plantation, and tourism industries in Colombo (Assistant Professor 21 Mar. 2022). According to the Associate Professor, Tamil women hold jobs across Colombo, including in domestic service, garment manufacture, retail, office work and the informal sector (Associate Professor 1 Apr. 2022). In some work situations, such as garment factories and factory employee living quarters, social distancing is "not possible"; therefore, "many women are more exposed" to COVID-19 (Associate Professor 1 Apr. 2022). The same source adds that, due to the "economic crisis," these women lack access to "hospital care, personal protective equipment (PPE), and other preventative/distal and proximal forms of care" (Associate Professor 1 Apr. 2022). The Assistant Professor noted that those who lost their jobs left Colombo and returned to their villages (Assistant Professor 21 Mar. 2022).
4. Whether the Government or Paramilitaries Are Able to Track Tamils, Including Single Tamil Women, in Colombo
The Associate Professor indicated that
it is viable for Sri Lankan authorities and paramilitary groups to track a Tamil person who has moved or relocated to Colombo from other parts of Sri Lanka. Forms of tracking or surveillance take the form of tracking one's online or cellular phone activities and movements with the help of plainclothes personnel. (Associate Professor 1 Apr. 2022)
When asked whether the authorities can track Tamils or Tamil single women, the Assistant Professor indicated that Sri Lanka is a "surveillance state" in which agencies are "always" watching (Assistant Professor 21 Mar. 2022). The same source further noted that "the minute" a Tamil individual migrates, police and military agencies are "alerted" and will "tr[y]" to monitor the reason, purpose and destination for the relocation since Tamils are regarded by the government as LTTE agents (Assistant Professor 21 Mar. 2022).
4.1 Impact of COVID-19 on Whether the Government or Paramilitaries Are Able to Track Tamils, Including Single Tamil Women, in Colombo
Information on whether COVID-19 had an impact on the government or paramilitaries' ability to track Tamils, including single Tamil women, in Colombo was scarce among the sources consulted by the Research Directorate within the time constraints of this Response.
The Assistant Professor stated that the COVID-19 pandemic did not impact the government or paramilitaries' ability to track Tamils and/or single Tamil women who relocate to Colombo (Assistant Professor 21 Mar. 2022).
This Response was prepared after researching publicly accessible information currently available to the Research Directorate within time constraints. This Response is not, and does not purport to be, conclusive as to the merit of any particular claim for refugee protection. Please find below the list of sources consulted in researching this Information Request.
 According to the US CIA World Factbook, English is commonly used in government communication and is referred to as the "'link language'" in the Constitution (US 12 Apr. 2022).
Agence France-Presse (AFP). 1 April 2022. "Sri Lankan Security Forces Deployed in Colombo After Night of Violence." [Accessed 26 Apr. 2022]
Asian News International (ANI). 19 April 2022. "Ex-Sri Lankan Chief Justice Reproaches Colombo Govt for Its 'Total Failure'." [Accessed 26 Apr. 2022]
Assistant Professor, Madras Christian College. 21 March 2022. Interview with the Research Directorate.
Associated Press (AP). 4 February 2020. Krishan Francis. "Sri Lanka Scraps Tamil National Anthem at Independence Day." [Accessed 14 Feb. 2022]
Associate Professor, Santa Clara University, US. 1 April 2022. Correspondence with the Research Directorate.
Australia. 23 December 2021. Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT). DFAT Country Information Report: Sri Lanka. [Accessed 11 Mar. 2022]
The Diplomat. 26 April 2022. Shannon Tiezzi. "Bhavani Fonseka Explains Sri Lanka's Protests." [Accessed 26 Apr. 2022]
The Diplomat. N.d. "The Diplomat." [Accessed 7 Jan. 2022]
Executive Director, Law & Society Trust (LST). 16 March 2022. Correspondence with the Research Directorate.
Freedom House. 4 March 2021. "Sri Lanka." Freedom in the World 2021. [Accessed 14 Mar. 2022]
The Guardian. 26 March 2022. Hannah Ellis-Petersen. "Tamils Fear Prison and Torture in Sri Lanka, 13 Years After Civil War Ended." [Accessed 26 Apr. 2022]
Human Rights Watch (HRW). 2 March 2021. Meenakshi Ganguly. "Rights of Sri Lankan Muslims Need International Protection." [Accessed 11 Mar. 2022]
Law & Society Trust (LST). N.d. "LST Today." [Accessed 16 Mar. 2022]
Minority Rights Group International (MRG). December 2020. 50 Years of Minority Rights Group International. [Accessed 11 Mar. 2022]
Minority Rights Group International (MRG). March 2018. "Sri Lanka." World Directory of Minorities and Indigenous Peoples. [Accessed 14 Mar. 2022]
Sri Lanka. 2012. Department of Census and Statistics. Sri Lanka Census of Population and Housing, 2012: Population by Ethnic Group According to Districts, 2012. [Accessed 22 Mar. 2022]
Tamil Guardian. 26 April 2022. "Tamils Arrested, Detained and Now Finally Released for Lighting Candles." [Accessed 26 Apr. 2022]
United Kingdom (UK). 20 January 2020. Home Office. Report of a Home Office Fact-Finding Mission to Sri Lanka. [Accessed 11 Mar. 2022]
United Nations (UN). 9 February 2021. Human Rights Council. Promoting Reconciliation, Accountability and Human Rights in Sri Lanka: Report of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights. (A/HRC/46/20) [Accessed 14 Mar. 2022]
United States (US). 12 April 2022. Central Intelligence Agency (CIA). "Sri Lanka." The World Factbook. [Accessed 20 Apr. 2022]
Additional Sources Consulted
Oral sources: Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research; adjunct professor at an American university who researches Tamils and ethnic conflict in Sri Lanka; American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies; Amnesty International – Canadian branch; associate professor at an American university that focuses on peace, civil and interstate wars, terrorism, democratization and historical war trends; Canadian Tamil Congress; Centre for Equality and Justice; Centre for Policy Alternatives; Collective for Economic Democratisation; Council of NGOs – Jaffna District; fellow at a university in the UK who researches mobility, class, and ethnography in Sri Lanka; Global Initiative Against Transnational Organized Crime; human rights lawyer in Colombo; independent scholar who researches Sri Lankan women's rights, displacement, and social movements in Sri Lanka; INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre; International Centre for Ethnic Studies; International Committee of the Red Cross; International Crisis Group; International Truth and Justice Project; Mannar Women's Development Federation; National Peace Council of Sri Lanka; People for Equality and Relief in Lanka; professor at a university in Sri Lanka who focuses on Indian Tamils and culture in Sri Lanka; professor of anthropology and sociology at a university in Sri Lanka who researches Tamils; researcher who focuses on Hill Country Tamils, human rights, and linguistic minority rights in Sri Lanka; researcher who focuses on law and justice for Tamil women in Sri Lanka; senior lecturer at a university in Australia who focuses on the impact of development policy on employment systems, labour, and livelihoods among rural women in South Asia; senior lecturer at a university in Sri Lanka who focuses on minority rights in Sri Lanka; senior lecturer of human geography at a university in Scotland who researches Tamils in Sri Lanka; senior professor at a university in India who focuses on South and Southeast Asian studies; Sri Lanka Foundation for Human Rights; Sri Lanka – Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka; Stanford University – Mapping Militant Organizations Project; UN – UNHCR; Suriya Women's Development Centre; World University Service of Canada.
Internet sites, including: Adayaalam Centre for Policy Research; Al Jazeera; American Broadcasting Company; American Institute for Sri Lankan Studies; Amnesty International; Asylum Research Centre; BBC; Belgium – Commissariat général aux réfugiés et aux apatrides; Bertelsmann Stiftung; Brookings Institution; Center for Strategic and International Studies; The Citizen; CNN; Colombo Gazette; Colombo Telegraph; The Conversation; Council on Foreign Relations; ecoi.net; EU – EU Agency for Asylum; Fédération internationale pour les droits humains; France – Office français de protection des réfugiés et apatrides; Germany – Federal Office for Migration and Refugees; The Hindu; Hindustan Times; INFORM Human Rights Documentation Centre; Institute for War and Peace Reporting; Internal Displacement Monitoring Center; International Centre for Ethnic Studies; International Crisis Group; International Feminist Journal of Politics; International Relations Review; Journalists for Democracy in Sri Lanka; Médecins sans frontières; National Peace Council of Sri Lanka; Netherlands – Ministry of Foreign Affairs; The New Humanitarian; The New Indian Express; The New York Times; Norway – Landinfo; Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development; Organisation suisse d'aide aux réfugiés; The Organization for World Peace; People for Equality and Relief in Lanka; Reporters sans frontières; Reuters; The South Asia Collective; South Asia Monitor; Sri Lanka – Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka; Stiftung Wissenschaft und Politik; The Straits Times; The Sunday Times; TamilNet; Times Online; Transparency International; UN – International Organization for Migration, Office of the High Commission for Human Rights, Refworld, UNDP, UNHCR, UN Population Fund, UN Women, WHO; US – Department of State, Library of Congress; Wilson Center; Women's Action Network; World Bank; World Socialist Web Site.