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Government not satisfied with prosecutions of child abusers – Prof GL

ECONOMYNEXT- Only a little over nine per cent of victims of child abuse handled by the government agencies are continuing their education after their traumatic experience, Parliament was informed today.

Education Minister Prof G.L. Peiris said that only 9.1% of the 6,063 children who were victims of child abuse reported in 2020 have continued their studies formal or informally.

Peiris was replying to a question raised by Opposition MP Dr Harini Amarasuriya in Parliament.

The Minister said that of the total of 6,063 complaints that have been received by the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) between the period from January 1, 2020, to September 23 2020, investigations have been completed in only 3900 cases.

Out of that prosecutions are going ahead in only 390 cases.

“I agree that this not at all an acceptable level of performance, we will take measures to expedite these processes as quickly as possible,” Peiris said.

Further, he said out of the total child abuse cases reported within the year 5,667 victims or children have continued to live with their family members while 396 been taken away from their families where they are kept with trusted parties and in Child Development Centres.

The minister also said that out of the total victims 774 children have been provided with psychosocial assistance by properly trained personnel.

Talking about the measures taken by the NCPA to expedite the investigations, the minister said that NCPA has established 9 Video evidence recording units on a provincial level around the island and give proper training to police officers who are handling child abuse cases.

He also said that measures have been taken to informed the NCPA about new child abuse complaints that have being received by police stations within 24 hours and monitor those complaints.

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Minister said that it has been planned to establish 9 Childrens’ Magistrates Courts on a provincial level including the Battaramulla and Jaffna Childrens’ Magistrates Courts and set up 9 Childrens’ High Courts on a provincial level including the Childrens’ High Court already established in Anuradhapura. (Colombo/Oct06/2020)

Reported by Imesh Ranasinghe