Plans afoot to establish children's courts in each province
It has been proposed to establish nine magistrate's courts and nine high courts in each provinces, to hear cases concerning child abuse and violence against children.
Speaking at a media briefing held yesterday (20), Deputy Chairman of the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA), Sujatha Alahapperuma noted that presently, there are only two magistrate's courts that hear such cases.
As a result, several court cases concerning children get delayed significantly, due to the high number of such cases.
Alahapperuma further noted that measures are being taken to amend any obsolete laws concerning children and minors, after the Ministry of Justice had instructed the NCPA to do so in October last year.
Moreover, it has been recognized that the definition of a 'child' varies across the many ordinances and Acts existing within the law.
As per the Declaration of the Rights of the Child , all persons under the age of 18 are considered to be minors, Alahapperuma acknowledged, adding that all existing laws must be amended in accordance with these directives.