According to data obtained by the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) from hospitals, only 10% to 15% of teenage pregnancies, surface as cases before the judiciary, Deputy Chairman of the NCPA, Sajeeva Samaranayake said.
This is more a health related issue than legal in nature, he observed.
He added that regarding cases of rape of minors and child sex abuse, people had no realistic assessment of the actual capacity of the judicial system to deliver results.
As far as cases of statutory rape is concerned, where the girls are under the age of 16, 40% of the cases reported involve consensual affairs, he noted adding that even though in such situations, this technically constituted an offence, there was no perceived criminality involved.
“Preventive measures at the social level are needed. Social controls at the school level are weak. There is a lack of openness and honesty regarding these problems as hypocrisy clouds how these problems are dealt with. Social ethics are lacking and as a result youth in certain cases are unable to deal with these issues,” he opined.