The Parliamentary Caucus for Children has drawn attention to the importance of coordination of institutions that work on child protection in Sri Lanka.
The matter was discussed during the meeting of the Parliamentary Caucus for Children in Parliament recently (8) under the chairmanship of Parliamentarian Rohini Kumari Wijeratne.
The meeting was held to identify the challenges and problems faced by various agencies working in Sri Lanka regarding child protection.
Contacting relevant parties and finding solutions and working in coordination with the relevant institutions was also discussed.
Accordingly, the National Secretariat for Early Childhood Development under the Ministry of Women, Child Affairs and Social Empowerment, the Department of Probation and Child Care Services, the National Child Protection Authority and the Police Children’s and Women’s Bureau have presented facts of their activities and existing challenges and problems.
Information was also presented regarding the activities of the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) in Sri Lanka.
The officials expressed their views on the shortcomings in the infrastructure including staff vacancies, building requirements, vehicle requirements in the relevant institutions.
It was also revealed that 284 posts of 618 in the National Child Protection Authority are vacant and the forum instructed the Secretary of the Ministry of Women, Child Affairs and Social Empowerment to inform the President as the subject minister to take immediate steps to fill the vacancies.
Providing quality education to children in Sri Lanka, providing adequate health care, making existing resources and officials more efficient, community Based Correction, and matters to be considered in media reporting on child abuse cases were also discussed.
Addressing the committee, chairperson of the caucus, MP Wijeratne said the relevant parties will be summoned before the caucus and steps will be taken to seek solutions.
Meanwhile, it was revealed that a national policy on early childhood education has been compiled.
It was also revealed that this has been prepared in a legal framework taking into account the differences and similarities existing in provinces and nationally.
Furthermore, it was mentioned here that a five-year action plan for child protection (2023 – 2027) has been prepared to implement the national policy on child protection that was finalised in 2019.