People’s Forum on Child Protection Governance
Representatives of the panel
Save the Children in Sri Lanka conducted a special People’s Forum on Child Protection Governance to enable a constructive discourse among academics, policymakers and civil society to explore and unpack issues and challenges in child protection governance, with the aim of identifying ways and means to address the issues.
Sri Lanka’s 6.3 million Children represent one- third of the country’s population. Especially, as highlighted in news headlines, the need for greater attention and efforts towards building a more child-friendly Sri Lanka is urgently needed. The National Agenda on Child Rights Governance was developed by government institutions together with civil society, and was launched in July 2015. The draft National Agenda aims to ensure good governance for children, especially through effective and efficient functioning of systems, structures and mechanisms relating to child care and protection, education and health.
Participants asking questions from the panel
Out of the three focus areas of the National Agenda, child protection services, has weak systems and mechanisms in place, when compared to education and health. Some of the gaps and limitations of the child protection system were exposed through the recent incidents of child abuse that caught much attention of media and the public.
The People’s Forum emphasized the vital commitments to improve child protection through the National Agenda on Child Rights Governance. The Forum was led by prominent academics and child rights practitioners including Prof. Harendra De Silva, Prof. Siri Hettige, Mr. Kalyananda Tiranagama and Prof. Hemamali Perera as well as the leadership of all government ministries and departments responsible for child protection.
The People’s Forum created a platform for all the parties to understand the importance of adapting the National Agenda on Child Rights Governance to create a safe and healthy country for the children.