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Who We are

Dabindu Collective is a non-profit organization, established in 1984, to protect and promote women worker rights in the Free Trade Zone (FTZ) of Katunayake. For over 38 years, Dabindu has worked actively and tirelessly to mobilize and collectivize women workers; empower workers with knowledge about human rights, women’s rights and labour rights; and strengthen women workers’ leadership. In recent years Dabindu has expanded its work from the Katunayake FTZ to Biyagama FTZ and industrial areas in Kilinochchi and Vavuniya in the Northern Province.

Dabindu was first launched as a newsletter in 1984, and subsequently registered under the Companies Act no.17 of 1982 as Women’s Education and Training Institute in 1987. In 1999 the organization was registered under the name Dabindu Collective. On 12th July 2011 it was registered under the Companies Act no.07 of 2007 as a guarantee limited company. The new company no. is G A 659. Under this registration, DC is capable of receiving and spending foreign funds on beneficiaries in Sri Lanka.

The Board of DC consists of women workers from the FTZ as well as sectoral experts from the women’s rights and legal fields. The Action Committee consists of 50 factory workers from Katunayake, Biyagama, Kilinochchi and Vavuniya. The role of the Committee is to share information with the organization, and give inputs and feedback for campaign design, project planning and implementation, mobilization and DC events. The Committee meets with the organization on a quarterly basis. The staff is headed by the Executive Director (ED), and the Management Team consists of the ED, Program Manager and Finance Manager. DC works within both the national labour rights and women rights movements, in partnership with other organizations. They also have a strong network at the South Asia regional level, and works closely with regional and international groups such as Asia Floor Wage Alliance, Clean Clothes Campaign, South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication (SAAPE) and Free Workers Union, Germany to promote solidarity and international standards on workers’ rights.


To build a society in which the rights and the dignity of women workers are recognized and safeguarded.


To organize and empower women workers to create an environment, which will help them, win and safeguard their rights, acquire the respect of society and facilitate their participation in development processes.


  • Mobilize and organize workers and strengthen their leadership to collectively demand for dignified labour conditions, the protection and promotion of their rights as workers, and to challenge gender discrimination and other social inequalities.
  • Strengthen the Dabindu Collective Union9 and the leadership of trade union members
  • Engage in principled feminist action which recognizes and is responsive to the diverse and intersectional identities of workers and the challenges they face
  • Advocate for social, cultural, economic, legal and policy reforms which protect and promote workers’ rights at the domestic and international levels
  • Strengthen cross-border, regional and international partnerships and solidarities with allied groups and movements
  • Expand and strengthen the outreach of the organization and have a presence in all industrial areas and free trade zones across the country
  • Strengthen institutional capacity, sustainability and resilience to respond to contemporary micro and macro level challenges and emerging crises
  • Work towards peace, democracy and sustainable development in partnership with other social justice and civil movements in Sri Lanka
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