The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has appointed a committee to inquire into sexual violence against children in the Jaffna District. The committee will also make recommendations to improve the legal and social responses and preventive strategies, and will be expected to submit their report on August 31.

Samples of incidents of sexual violence against children and young people reported in May 2015 will be collected by the committee which will then submit recommendations on the following:

• Strengthening good practices and eliminating delays, and addressing failures, omissions, and lapses with a view to ensuring that the law enforcement and criminal justice systems respond in a professional, efficient and sensitive manner to cases of sexual violence against children and young persons.

• Strengthening inter-sectoral collaboration to support child victim –survivors of sexual violence, their families and the community at large.

• Strengthening State strategies aimed at strengthening communities and preventing sexual violence against children.

Committee members have expertise in legal, social service, judicio-medical, psychosocial, gender and child rights fields and comprise Hayleys Group security manager and retired DIG Maxie Proctor, Julius and Creasy Cousel Prashanthi Mahindraratna, Forensic Medicine and Toxicology Chief JMO Dr. Ajith Tennakoon, attorney-at-law Harshana Nanayakkara, Suriya Women’s Development Center Executive Director Sarala Emmanuel, Dr. S Sivayokan from the Jaffna Teaching Hospital and child rights activist J Thatparan. The coordinator of the committee is Tharaka Kodagoda.

The decision was made following the rape and murder of a school girl in Punkudutheevu, Jaffna on May 13.

The NCPA is also working with Justice Ministry, Attorney General’s Department, Police and Health Ministry and with the assistance of UNICEF on a ‘national project for the expeditious processing of cases of child abuse by the criminal justice system of Sri Lanka and prevention of secondary victimization of victims on child abuse.’