Ministry of Women and Child Affairs and Save the Children launch Action Plan for the Social Protection of Children (2016 – 2018)

Monday 18 July 2016

Ministry of Women and Child Affairs and Save the Children launched an Action Plan for the Social Protection of Children (2016 – 2018) on the 8th of July 2016 in Colombo under the patronage of Hon. Chandrani Bandara, Minister for Women and Child Affairs (MOWCA). This Action Plan addresses challenges and issues faced by children that threaten their protection, development and wellbeing through improved policies, mechanisms and services of MOWCA and three key institutions under the ministry  Department of Probation and Child Care Services, National Child Protection Authority and Children’s Secretariat.

A signed Memorandum of Understanding was exchanged by Ms. Chandrani Senaratne, Secretary- Ministry of Women and Child Affairs and Mr. Chris Mcivor, Country Director of Save the Children. Ms. Ashoka Alawatte, Additional   Secretary (Development) - Ministry of Women and Child Affairs, Dr. Natasha Balendra, Chairperson of National Child Protection Authority and Ms. Chandima Sigera, Director of the Children’s Secretariat and Acting Commissioner of Department of Probation and Child Care Services also attended the ceremony, among other heads of Ministries, Departments, UN Agencies, INGOs and NGOs.

Addressing the launching ceremony Mr. Chris Mcivor, Country Director of Save the Children mentioned that the Action Plan presented a great opportunity for Government and other key stakeholders to effect real and lasting change for children, and that within their deliberations the voices and opinions of young people themselves should be solidly inserted.

Children of the National Children’s Council creatively depicted some specific social protection issues faced by children in Sri Lanka, especially in relation to how the external migration of parents adversely affect the children left behind.

In her speech Hon. Chandrani Bandara, the Minister for Women and Child Affairs emphasized that this action plan will contribute for addressing the gaps in the services for children, and she invited all the relevant ministries, UN agencies, INGOs, civil society partners, donor community to be part of this continuous effort.

 

The Action Plan for the Social Protection of Children (2016 – 2018) was jointly developed by the Department of Probation and Child Care Services, National Child Protection Authority, Children’s Secretariat and Save the Children. The Plan will be financed by GBP 1.4 million which was granted by Save the Children UK to the Sri Lankan government in 2011. The release of this fund for the purpose of this Action Plan was a significant achievement and an indication of strong collaboration between the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs and Save the Children.