ECONOMYNEXT – Police operations will be under way in Sri Lanka’s western province, starting Tuesday (27), to find children under the age of 16 employed as domestic workers.
Police media spokesman Senior Deputy Inspector General (SDIG) Ajith Rohana said the operation will be launched as a pilot project with Community Police officers and officers of the Children & Women Bureau.
The operation comes in the wake of the death of a 16-year-old domestic worker at the residence of former minister Rishad Bathuideen on July 15.
The teenage girl succumbed to burn injuries sustained at the Bathuideen residence on July 03.
“The aim of the operation is to identify and take legal action against owners and residents of homes in which children under 16 are employed as domestic aides,” said Rohana.
Legal action will also be taken against any agents who organised the recruitment as well as people who allowed the child to go for such employment, he added.
Former Commissioner of the Human Rights Commission of Sri Lanka (HRCSL) Ambika Satkunanathan tweeted Tuesday (27) morning that more policing was not the solution to the problem.
Satkunanathan called for reform of labour laws and increased access to education and employment.
More policing, i.e. registering with police, police raids etc, isn’t going to solve the problem. Instead, might lead to more rights violations.
Address poverty, lack of access to edu/jobs & amend labour laws to include domestic work, impose monetary penalties for breaching etc. https://t.co/Dzrjn2ihrL
— Ambika Satkunanathan (@ambikasat) July 27, 2021
Commissioner General of Labour Prabath Chandrakeerthi told EconomyNext Monday (26) afternoon that, with “recent events related to child labour”, the list of hazardous occupations has been increased from 51 to 71.