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* Disciplinary committees to probe sexual harassment at health institutions in Sri Lanka
Sun, Nov 18, 2012, 11:33 pm SL Time, ColomboPage News Desk, Sri Lanka.

Nov 18, Colombo: Sri Lanka's Minister of Health Maithripala Sirisena has taken measures to establish special disciplinary committees at state hospitals and institutions affiliated to the Health Ministry to investigate allegations of sexual harassment of female workers.

The decision to probe sexual harassment at the work place comes in the wake of Minister's admission that sexual offences and harassment of minor female staff are rampant in his ministry.

Minister Sirisena has told the local newspaper The Island that sexual violence in urban and rural areas, especially in the government ministries, departments and their affiliated organizations is escalating.

According to a Health Ministry spokesperson, the Ministry receives 8 to 10 complaints a week on allegation of sexual harassment. However, there is no proper mechanism in place to investigate the allegations and therefore, injustice meted out to the victims, the spokesman has noted.

The Health Ministry has also planned to open counseling centers in all hospitals island wide for the sexual harassment victims to receive treatment and counseling.

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