Over 21,000 children, women abused or raped in last four yearsSeptember 5, 2012, 9:55 pm
by Zacki Jabbar
According to official statistics, 21,458 children and women had been abused or raped during the last four years, UNP parliamentarian Rosy Senanayake said yesterday.
Addressing a news conference in Colombo, she said that there was a rapid deterioration in the law and order situation, but President Mahinda Rajapaksa, who had made an election pledge to provide security for children and women, had done nothing to stop the slide, she said, adding that that had been quoted as saying he could not send the police into people’s homes.
This year alone 1,700 child rape cases had been reported and the figure in 2011 was 1,619. Every day, around three to four girls were raped. During the last one year 600 children had been raped in Jaffna, she said.
Rosy said that the National Survey on Children had found that 26 percent of children who should be in school were employed and of this number 52 percent were from rural areas.
Empowering females as well as protecting them was one of the main planks of the platform on which Rajapaksa had won two successive elections. But, only 619 of perpetrators of sexual violence had been convicted since he assumed office, Senanayake noted.
In contrast, from December 2001 to April 2004, the UNP government implemented the ‘Vanitha Diyapiyasa’ programme to take care of children whose mothers had gone abroad for employment. The first two bureaus had been established in Gampaha and Kalutara, she said, adding that the SLFP-led UPFA, which came to power in 2004, had not improved on it.
Rosy said that it was the late President J. R. Jayewardene who had established the National Women’s Bureau and during the time of the late President Ranasinghe Premadasa the Women’s Charter had been drafted, but hardly any progress had been made by successive UPFA regimes, she said.
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