"Children for Children"-First Children’s Provincial Council is established in Southern Province in Sri Lanka on World Children’s Day
The first ever Children’s Provincial Council in Sri Lanka was established in Southern Province on 1st of October, on the World Children’s Day. 55 children representing the community and children’s homes of three districts of Southern province contributed as the members of the Children’s Council. The term of this Children’s Provincial Council will end on 1st of October 2015 and new members will be appointed for the new term. The council will meet once in two months and the members will discuss the provincial issues related to the children, and propose actions for the government and other stakeholders. That will be added to the Provincial Council Hanzard and the relevant Provincial Council members will be accountable to respond.
Sri Lanka has nine provinces, and each Provincial Council in those are operated as the legislative bodies in those provinces with devolution of power from the central government. The provincial council is headed by the Chief Minister, and the each provincial council has their own ministries in references to different sectors such as education, agriculture, social services etc. Establishment of Children’s Provincial Council, following the existing Provincial Council identifies the significance of children’s involvement and giving prominence to children’s ideas and voices.
The established Children’s Provincial Council in Southern Province is determined to provide children an effective platform to discuss children’s issues and advocate for addressing those issues by receiving the attention of relevant officials. The Children Council will especially serve as a voice for all vulnerable children in the province. Likewise, this forum will develop the children’s leadership skills to become responsible citizens.
Since children in the country face different issues such as abuse, neglect, high rate of school dropouts, inadequate care and protection due to economic and social reasons, extension of this type of initiative in other provinces will lead the children to building a better future for all children in Sri Lanka.
Provincial Ministry of Sports, Youth Affairs, Culture and Arts, Social Welfare, Probationary Care and Child Protection, Women’s Affairs, Housing and Construction and the Provincial Department of Probation and Child Care Services (DPCCS) will continue to support the children’s council with the facilitation of Save the Children International.