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Child-friendly framework must fit 2022, not the 80s – UNICEF

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COLOMBO (News 1st) – UNICEF says in order to prevent a child protection crisis in Sri Lanka, there needs to be a generation of data on the types of violence against girls and boys, the locations, the perpetrators and the accessibility of services.

This will help improve the planning and implementation of programmes to prevent and respond to child protection issues.It added that a child-friendly legal framework, that is fit for Sri Lankan children in 2022, rather than laws drafted 80 years ago during the colonial period that far pre-date the ratification of the Convention on the Rights of the Child, is necessary.The principles of best interests and participation need to be brought into new legislation that provides the possibility for prevention, including family strengthening and ensures that all forms of institutionalization and detention of children are the last resort and for the shortest possible time.UNICEF also said that a  strong social service and justice workforce – who work together – to better protect children in Sri Lanka, needs to be forced and to this end, the government should prioritize the development and planning of a professional social service and justice workforce.

It also needs to invest in training and supervision of the workforce, as well as clear definitions of roles and responsibilities.The Ministries and their Departments, the Police and the Judiciary should establish regular coordination mechanisms to provide appropriate services adapted to meet the needs of girls, boys and women.

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