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Sri Lanka's child protection body wants children's homes to be closed over 'rampant' abuse

Colombo, Sat, 10 Sep 2011 ANI

Colombo, Sept 10 (ANI): The head of Sri Lanka's child protection body has said that all children's homes in the country should be closed down due to 'rampant' abuse.


"Shocking incidents are happening in children's homes all over the country," the BBC quoted Anoma Dissanayake, the head of the National Child Protection Authority (NCPA), as saying.


Dissanayake comments came in the wake of the recent case where the guardian of a children's home was charged with sexually assaulting underage girls.


"Rarely, there are some very good children's homes but this is the situation in most of the homes," she said.


"Our aim is to fully establish a foster care system replacing children's homes within the next few months," she added.


The National Child Protection Authority (NCPA) has said it is already working to replace children's homes with a foster parenting system.


Nearly 20,000 children, orphans or children abused by parents or caretakers are housed in 470 institutions, the report said.


Nita Ariyaratne, the honorary secretary of Sarvodaya Suwasetha, an organisation that runs eight children's homes in Sri Lanka, however, said that she was not aware of 'rampant' child abuse in children's homes, although there had been some cases of abuse.


She stressed that it was crucially important to ensure that children are safe with their new foster carers and to ensure that proper vetting is in place. (ANI)



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