Sayomi Ariyawansa

  • Sayomi Ariyawansa

    PhD candidate

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Sayomi Ariyawansa is a PhD student at Melbourne Law School. She researches across the fields of labour migration, labour trafficking and labour law, with a focus on the use of migrant labour in the Australian agriculture industry. She is also a lawyer in the Workplace Relations team of Corrs Chambers Westgarth.

Prior to joining Melbourne Law School, she completed the Master of Law programme at the University of Cambridge, where she graduated with First Class Honours and was awarded the Kate Bertram Prize for Academic Excellence. She is also a former Editor of the Cambridge International Law Journal, and is a Forum Member of the Cambridge Migration Research Network.

Sayomi has published in the Australian Journal of Labour Law and authored updates for the Thomson Reuters Employment Relations Manual. She is also a columnist for Right Now: Human Rights in Australia.

Thesis Title

Tackling the labour exploitation of migrant workers in the Australian agriculture sector.

Thesis Summary

Recent reports have exposed the endemic exploitation of migrant workers in the Australian agriculture sector. My thesis examines the policy, legal and regulatory frameworks that apply to migrant workers in this sector, and analyses how the concept of "responsibility" for the protection of the rights of these workers has been framed. Based on this analysis, my thesis will propose how the this concept may be reframed to enhance the protection of the rights of this category of workers.


  • Employment law
  • Human rights law
  • Migration law