Sri Lanka launches plan to address sexual violence

Colombo, Nov 16 (IANS) Sri Lanka on Wednesday launched a national action plan to address sexual and gender-based violence.

The action plan was officially launched by the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs and the UN Development Programme (UNDP) here, Xinhua news agency reported.

The national action plan, developed on the vision of creating “a violence-free life for women and children” with zero tolerance for sexual and gender-based violence in Sri Lanka, is significant as it was formulated using a multi-sectoral approach with engagement from key ministries representing nine sectors.

Chandrani Bandara, Minister of Women and Child Affairs, said here ministry was happy that several leading ministries and institutions from different sectors, UN agencies, INGOs and NGOs had joined hands in developing the plan and ensured a multi-sectoral engagement, thereby putting in place a comprehensive holistic national plan.

Una McCauley, Resident Coordinator of UN Sri Lanka and Resident Representative of UNDP Sri Lanka, stated that the national plan was a clear indication of the political will of the government of Sri Lanka through a comprehensive and multi-sectoral framework involving three important dimensions; namely, Prevention, Intervention and Policy Advocacy.

She said the UN System in Sri Lanka looks forward to working together with the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs and other partners to eliminate all forms of sexual and gender-based violence against women, men, boys and girls.