The National Partnership to End Violence Against Children (NPEVAC) in Sri Lanka was launched on 2 June 2017 in Colombo. The event saw the participation of UN agencies, international organizations, civil society, faith groups, and the private sector. LEADS was represented by the CEO and several of its staff members at this important occasion that marks collaborative effort towards ending violence against children.
The common misconception is that violence occurs outside of a child’s immediate circle of trust but evidence suggests that cruelty occurs from members of his or her inner circle. This partnership to end violence against children creates a vital window of opportunity for Sri Lanka to share our success, discuss challenges and exchange knowledge.
Currently the children are exposed to various forms of violence in their homes, schools, online and in their communities. Over 9000 cases of violence involving children is reported to the National Child Protection Agency (NCPA) in 2016.
A new discussion paper titled ‘Preventing Violence Against Children in Sri Lanka’ and launched by the partnership highlighted that 40 percent of parents surveyed in the Colombo district admitted physically abusing their child, 14 percent of adolescent girls and boys surveyed had experienced some form of sexual abuse and 31 percent of adolescent boys and 25 percent of adolescent girls surveyed had experienced emotional abuse.
Speaking at the occasion Minister of Women and Child Affairs, Chandani Bandara said the government will introduce a new policy document on child care, child protection and child alternative care, to support necessary amendments to the Children (Judicial Protection) Bill.
“We have proposed to include a bill of rights in the Constitution with a special clause to include child rights and protection,” the Minister said at the launch of the National Partnership to End Violence against Children (NPEVAC).
The draft National Policy on Child Protection is currently being finalized.
Sri Lanka as one of the ‘path-finding’ countries is taking the lead globally to end violence including abuse, neglect and exploitation against children by 2030. This commitment is part of the Global Partnership to End Violence against Children and supports the country’s drive to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs).
While Sri Lanka has worked on a number of initiatives to protect children from physical and sexual abuse, neglect and exploitation, the discussion paper makes further recommendations to accelerate efforts to end violence against children.