|Training for police, probation, labour officers|
|Thursday, 13 November 2008|
A National Training programme for Police, Probation and Labour officers will be inaugurated today at the SLFI in Colombo.
This is the second major step taken by the Government to revive the Children and Young Persons Ordinance (CYPO). The CYPO is the child protection law in Sri Lanka which sets out the standards for the treatment of all children in contact with the criminal law.
That is Children in need of care and protection, including child victims of abuse and exploitation, child protection and Children suspected of having committed a crime - juvenile justice.
According to a sample survey carried out by UNICEF in five districts earlier this year, CYPO procedures are not activated in two-thirds of all cases reported to police. For the remaining one-third, they are activated well after the criminal investigations are initiated and the case is reported to Court.
This delay prevents the child from having access to the Probation Officer when he or she needs their services the most. It leads to secondary victimisation of children through separation from families, disruption of education and long periods of detention in homes.
"This training is opportune and very important to re-establish the role of Probation and Child Care Services as well as child Protection procedures under the law," said Sarath Abeyagunewardena, Commissioner of Probation & Child Care Services.
The training programme will give a basic grounding in criminal law and procedures of the CYPO, ensure better communication and cooperation between Police, Probation and Labour officers and support officers to develop tools for regular monitoring and review.
"Presently these cases have been treated simply as criminal cases and thus the special needs of children are ignored," said Sajeeva Samaranayake, UNICEF's Child Protection Specialist. "If properly implemented, the CYPO provides an adequate and important measure of protection. This, in turn, minimises additional anxiety that children experience when they come into contact with the law."
The Training is organised by the Child Development Ministry in collaboration with the Police Department, Department of Probation and Child Care Services and the Labour Department and supported by UNICEF, Save the Children and Plan Sri Lanka.
The first step in reviving the CYPO - the National Training of Magistrates - carried out in collaboration with the Judges Training Institute and Ministry of Justice was successfully concluded in April this year.
User-friendly handbooks in English, Sinhala and Tamil having been prepared to facilitate greater dissemination and easier understanding of the key legal standards, Magistrates have responded positively to their orientation programme and the training is now being extended to Police, Probation and Labour.
(Courtesy: Daily News)
|Last Updated ( Thursday, 23 July 2009 )|
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