Training for police, probation, labour officers
A National Training programme for Police, Probation and Labour
officers will be inaugurated today at the SLFI in Colombo.
This is the second major step taken by the Government to revive the
Children and Young Persons Ordinance (CYPO). The CYPO is the child
protection law in Sri Lanka which sets out the standards for the
treatment of all children in contact with the criminal law.
programme will give a basic grounding in criminal law and
procedures of the CYPO, ensure better communication and
cooperation between Police, Probation and Labour officers, and
That is Children in need of care and protection, including child
victims of abuse and exploitation, child protection and Children
suspected of having committed a crime - juvenile justice.
According to a sample survey carried out by UNICEF in five districts
earlier this year, CYPO procedures are not activated in two-thirds of
all cases reported to police. For the remaining one-third, they are
activated well after the criminal investigations are initiated and the
case is reported to Court.
This delay prevents the child from having access to the Probation
Officer when he or she needs their services the most. It leads to
secondary victimisation of children through separation from families,
disruption of education and long periods of detention in homes.
"This training is opportune and very important to re-establish the
role of Probation and Child Care Services as well as child Protection
procedures under the law," said Sarath Abeyagunewardena, Commissioner of
Probation & Child Care Services.
The training programme will give a basic grounding in criminal law
and procedures of the CYPO, ensure better communication and cooperation
between Police, Probation and Labour officers, and support officers to
develop tools for regular monitoring and review.
"Presently these cases have been treated simply as criminal cases and
thus the special needs of children are ignored," said Sajeeva
Samaranayake, UNICEF's Child Protection Specialist. "If properly
implemented, the CYPO provides an adequate and important measure of
protection. This, in turn, minimises additional anxiety that children
experience when they come into contact with the law."
The Training is organised by the Child Development Ministry in
collaboration with the Police Department, Department of Probation and
Child Care Services and the Labour Department and supported by UNICEF,
Save the Children and Plan Sri Lanka.
The first step in reviving the CYPO - the National Training of
Magistrates - carried out in collaboration with the Judges Training
Institute and Ministry of Justice was successfully concluded in April
User-friendly handbooks in English, Sinhala and Tamil having been
prepared to facilitate greater dissemination and easier understanding of
the key legal standards. Magistrates have responded positively to their
orientation programme and the training is now being extended to Police,
Probation and Labour.