Call for separate unit at AG’s Dept. to handle child abuse, rape cases



A separate unit should be established in the Attorney General’s Department to deal with cases pertaining to the abuse and rape of children and women, the UNP said yesterday.

Colombo District UNP MP Rosy Senanayake told The Island that currently cases drag on for years and a child who had been sexually abused at around four years of age, as had been happening in the recent past, would have to endure the trauma for another ten years or more because Court proceedings tend to drag on.

The need of the hour was a separate unit in the AG’s Department which could set a time frame to investigate the facts of the case, along with the police and submit it for judicial inquiry, which ideally should be completed within a period of three to six months, she said.

Rosy said that a third of the cases pending in Courts pertained to abuse or rape of minors and women.

According to the Child Protection Act, it was mandatory to establish a unit in every district, but the Rajapaksa government had done nothing to control the rapid increase in sexual violence, the MP noted.

She said that the AG’s Department was an institution that had always been under the Justice Ministry, but of late had been politicized to the extent that it was now directly under the President’s control.

It was tragic to hear that the government had turned down a request by the Asian Human Rights Commission to provide the required legal fees for young Rizana to appeal against the death sentence imposed on her by a Saudi Arabian Court for allegedly killing an infant, Rosy observed.

She said that according to official statistics 21,458 children and women had been abused or raped during the last four years.

President Rajapaksa had made an election pledge to provide security for children and women. But instead of taking steps to stop the increasing incidence of sexual violence against them, he had gone on record stating that the police couldn’t be sent into people’s homes, the MP noted.

She said that this year alone 1,700 child rape cases had been reported so far 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.

The National Survey on Children stated that 26 percent of children who should be in school were employed and of this number 52 per cent were from rural areas, the MP said.

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