Youth Affairs Minister laments over Lanka having highest child abuse cases

By Maheesha Mudugamuwa

With the rising numbers of child abuse cases and child related road accidents, it is felt that as a nation Sri Lankans attention towards children had been neglected, Youth Affairs and Skills Development Minister Dallas Alahapperuma said yesterday.

The Youth Affairs Minister told ‘The Island’ that Sri Lanka had recorded the highest number of child abuse and rape cases last year, while 45 of those cases were of a serious nature. Nearly 224 schoolchildren were killed on the spot in their school uniforms due to road accidents.

"It is everyone’s responsibility to protect children from violence, everybody should act together to protect the country’s children," he said.

Unless effective measures were taken, Minister Alahapperuma warned that the problem would get worse. "We must create systems to protect children and we must protect them before they become future victims. It is our responsibility to look after them, protect them from social evils and provide a safe and peaceful environment for them to grow up," he said.

Decision makers and opinion formers should take steps to change policies and practices, locally and globally, to ensure children’s rights become reality, he added.

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