SL Protests: UNICEF, CPA condemns violence against children

Date:

The United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the Child Protection Alliance (CPA) have condemned the reports of violence involving children at the recent public protests.

Issuing a statement, UNICEF explained that as per the Convention on the Rights of the Child, children and adolescents too, have the right to participate and express their opinions on issues that affect them.

On these grounds, UNICEF noted that “all actors must guarantee the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, including for children”, adding that the responsibility to protect children and their rights was one shared between the State, local communities and families.

“All acts of violence must stop. Every adult must act with a sense of responsibility and avoid exposing children to all forms of violence, including during protests”, the statement read.

UNICEF further urged the law enforcement agencies to avoid the use of force, ensuring that “fundamental guarantees for the protection of children remain applicable everywhere, at all times”.

Meanwhile, the CPA has also written to the UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka, Hanaa Singer-Hamdy, demanding an immediate inquiry into incidents where children were harmed during protests after tear gas was used to disperse crowds.

The CPA further urged Singer-Hamdy to protect and promote the rights of children, and secure their lives, based on the premise that they were, in fact, “the true beneficiaries of the future of Sri Lanka”.

Attached below are the relevant statements;

UNICEFs statement condemning violence against children during protests
CPA’s letter to UN Resident Coordinator in Sri Lanka

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