President Maithripala Sirisena says the maximum punishment that can be given for child exploiters is to expose them to society.
The President participating at the national ceremony held in parallel to The World Day Against Child Labour in BMICH on June 22 said that the media has a major responsibility in this regard.
As a Government which acts according to the UN charters, the government fulfills its duties with great commitment to protect and nourish the children, he said.
The President further said that to prevent child abuse the government works in compliance with international commitments and it is also committed to eradicate poverty and strengthen the economy of the country, which is the common factor in children being exploited for labour.
Even though it is necessary to introduce new laws and regulations as well as to properly implement existing laws to save our children from child abuse, the laws alone cannot be responsible for all the occurrences, the President said pointing out that all citizens in the country should be aware of these situations.
The World Day Against Child Labour falls on June 12. The theme for this year’s U.N. observance is “End child labour in supply chains – It’s everyone’s business.”
In order to achieve these objectives, many programmes have been implemented through three main sectors of investigating complaints lodged at the Women and Children’s Affairs Division of the Department of Labour, implementing awareness raising programme for the society and prevention of enabling environment for child labour.
President also signed the pledge to declare Sri Lanka as a country free of child labor, which was presented to him by the Director of the International Labor Organization for Sri Lanka and the Maldives, Donglin Li.
The launch of the program to socialize the charter through SMS, to make Sri Lanka a zone devoid of child labour, also took place on the occasion.
Minister of Labour & Trade Union Relations, W.D.J. Seneviratne, Ministers Vajira Abeywardena, Ministers and MPs, including Chandrani Bandara, State Minister, Ravindra Samaraweera, Ministry secretaries including Secretary to the President, P.B. Abeykoon, the Commissioner General of Labour, Chandani Amarathunga and state officials participated in the event.