NCRC calls for strict enforcement of child protection laws

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Chairperson National Commission on The Rights of Child Afshan Tehseen on Wednesday called for strict implementation of child protection laws to help safeguard the welfare of street children who were being exposed to violence, trafficking, abuse and exploitation.

“Children are the most important asset of any society and need urgent attention at all levels,” she stressed while talking to the PTV news channel.

NCRC was taking practical steps for the protection of street children who are social and community concern, she said, adding, the commission with the inter-provincial coordination was seriously concerned with finding sustainable ways for the rehabilitation, assimilation and mainstreaming of these children. She further explained that the commission was focusing on awareness-raising, reviewing child rights-related laws and providing assistance to the government in the implementation of international treaties, specifically the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

She stressed for joint national efforts to ensure that street and homeless children were not overlooked and ignored in national priorities and suggested implementing laws like that in Sri Lanka for bright future of children. Afshan Tahseen said “socio-economic empowerment of families”, curbing domestic violence, and child protection with a sociocultural nuance were some of the actionable ways which can keep these children off the streets.

Replying to a question, she replied that for law reforms on child rights, the commission was also holding regular meetings with MoHR, government departments, parliamentarians, senators, UN and international agencies, Commission, and civil society organizations.

For strengthening the commission, the parliamentary caucus on child rights was constituted in pursuance of a unanimous resolution adopted by the National Assembly to ensure the provision of fundamental rights to all children, she highlighted. To another question, she said that the NCRC commission had also established a complaint mechanism that was effectively addressing the problem of child abuse, adding, the commission also had the power to take suo moto on serious cases of child rights violation even in schools and to examine factors that inhibit the enjoyment of rights of children.

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