(COLOMBO, LANKAPUVATH) – President Gotabaya Rajapaksa today stressed that the security of children should be strengthened at the rural level, President’s Media Division said.
According to the information revealed, a high percentage of the children employed as child laborers are from the estate sector. The President pointed out that the necessary powers should be exercised at the Grama Niladhari Division level to prevent this situation.
President Rajapaksa pointing out that Grama Niladhari officers possess the information on families in the estate sector, said immediate action should be taken when a child is missing from a household in order to put a stop to child labor.
The President made these remarks at a discussion held with the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) and line institutes at the Presidential Secretariat this morning (05).
He noted that special attention has been paid to development of children and women in the Vistas of Prosperity national policy framework and a separate state ministry was also established to make it a reality.
Appreciating the State Ministry’s efforts to prevent violence against children and women, the President highlighted the importance of studying the research conducted on child development in other countries and the possibility of implementing those mechanisms in urban and rural areas.
The President stated that the main responsibility of the Child Protection Authority is to direct all children to compulsory pre-school, school and Dhamma school education and to find out the reasons for children failing to attend schools and provide solutions.
The President pointed out that the relationship between the children and parents could be strengthened through the cultivation of spiritual virtues by encouraging the children belonging to all religions to attend religious schools.
President Rajapaksa stressed the need to save the children from drug addiction and at the same time to study and address the factors that motivated them to use these drugs.
The President pointed out the need to raise awareness on violence against women in the workplace, to pay special attention to the children whose mothers are living abroad, and to early identification of children in families suspected of being abusive.
Piyal Nishantha, State Minister of Women and Child Development, Preschools & Primary Education, School Infrastructure & Education Services, said that all the necessary steps are being taken to launch the National Child Protection Policy in line with the “Vistas of Prosperity.”
State Minister Nishantha said that steps have been taken to construct a house for the family of the girl who died of burn injuries sustained at the house of MP Rishad Bathiudeen, to uplift the economy of the victim’s family and to create self-employment opportunities for the victim’s two sisters.
The State Minister also pointed out the measures that have been taken to prevent incidents of child and women abuse and to expedite court proceedings related to these incidents.
The President was also briefed on the performance of the NCPA and line institutions.
Secretary to the President P. B. Jayasundera, Secretary to the State Ministry K.M.S.D. Jayasekara, NCPA Chairman Prof. Muditha Vidanapathirana and the directors and other officials of the relevant institutions were present at the meeting.