The Sri Lanka Bureau of Foreign Employment (SLBFE), the foremost organisation looking after the welfare aspects of Sri Lanka’s migrant workers and their families was established in 1985 under the Act No. 21 and amended by Act No. 4 of 1994 and Act No.56 of 2009, the primary legislation that deals with foreign employment.
From the outset, the SLBFE operated under the supervision of the Ministry of Labour and in the year 2007 it was transferred to the newly created Ministry of Foreign Employment Promotion & Welfare (MFEPW) and was given tasks that include the formulation and implementation of foreign employment policies & promotion programs. Most of the MFEPW programs are administered by the SLBFE.