Oct 26, Colombo: Sri Lanka has launched a massive national campaign to safeguard children from child abuse and crimes against children and to educate the general public on preventing such abuses.
Under the National Programme to Eradicate Child Abuse, local programs will be conducted at 300 selected locations to raise awareness on the issue.
The national program is jointly implemented by Sri Lanka Telecom and the National Child Protection Authority.
Launching the program Telecommunication and Information Technology Minister Ranjith Siyambalapitiya said safeguarding the children is the highest future investment for a country and the present state of child abuse could be minimized by educating the children as well as the parents.
Chairperson of the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) Anoma Dissanayaka has said that complaints on child abuse could be informed in any of the three languages to the 24 hour hot line 1929 and people can obtain counseling or legal advice on problems of the children from the Authority.
In order to protect the children from abuses, they need to be advised of the dangers and give instructions to safeguard themselves such as not being in unsafe and isolated places, the Chairperson said. Also it is also important to allow the child to inform of any abuse to a confidential person, she added.
Handouts to raise awareness on the children's safety were distributed Friday, the state run radio reported.
According to the Department of Probation and Child Care Services over 90,000 children island wide have become vulnerable to various abusive situations.
According to the police, the child abuse cases had seen an increase last year with 1,085 cases of child rape and 1,503 child molestation and abuse cases.