Violence against children World Vision launches campaign

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By 2017-11-18

Humanitarian and relief agency World Vision Lanka (WVL), launched its campaign 'It takes a Nation to End Physical and Sexual Violence Against Children' on its 40th Anniversary celebrations in Colombo.

The campaign has a specific focus on ending child sexual abuse and combatting severe and humiliating punishment of children.

The organization's focus to join the global campaign to end violence against children comes at a time when there is a rise in reported cases of child abuse in Sri Lanka. The aim of the campaign is to address violence against children by raising public awareness on the subject and drawing attention to community vigilance and responsibility, as in most cases, children are abused by those known to them.

WVL which works on child protection, will also continue to be a strategic partner in the National Partnership to End Violence Against Children. It will reach out to parents and duty bearers on child protection, scale up family based programmes targeting men to become better caregivers, facilitate awareness raising on the subject at school development societies, and use its direct access to producer groups, water consumer societies, mother groups, nutrition society members and savings clubs, in the course of its awareness drive. Additionally, WVL will also work with faith communities in their project areas.

The organization works in over 30 locations in Sri Lanka and has access to nearly 2,000 communities and more than 500 children's societies. WVL has been strengthening the protection of children in local communities through engaging with children, families and local authorities in poor, rural as well as difficult urban areas. These interventions include the prevention of child right violations as well as supporting victims of child abuse. Meanwhile, the special focus on street children has enabled many children to leave a life of danger and live a normal childhood. In 2017, WVL in its programmes has directly impacted more than 200,000 children and their families.

Meanwhile, the organization celebrated its work serving the poor in Sri Lanka since 1977. The WVL has been actively involved in child wellbeing centred community development with interventions in health and nutrition, water and sanitation, education and economic development. With projects in 22 Districts, WVL has also been instrumental in providing humanitarian assistance in emergencies such as the tsunami, floods and drought as well as in the post-conflict contexts.

The campaign was launched in the presence of Minister of Women and Child Affairs, Chandrani Bandara.

Minister Bandara, speaking at the event commented that "I am happy that WVL has been a strong player in the national partnership and works very closely with our Ministry and other relevant Government institutes. I value the collaboration and commitment displayed by this organization in working with the Government and others in the process of ending suffering of children."

National Director of WVL, Dr. Dhanan Senathirajah speaking at this event said that ''Although the exact number of child abuses is actually not known, we know that it is a growing problem. In any given year the number of complaints the National Child Protection Authority receives surpasses 10,000. The Police reports are another pointer towards the scale of the situation. But I reiterate here, what goes unreported is our greatest concern. I call upon our partners, the faith community, the corporates and the donor community to join us in this endeavour.''

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