09/02/2021, 16.52
SRI LANKA
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Sex crimes against girls

by Melani Manel Perera

Police report rising complaints and an intolerable situation. The real emergency is educational. Sex with those under 16 is rape with sentences of up to 20 years in prison. Helping the most fragile left to fend for themselves is the challenge.

Colombo (AsiaNews) – Sex crimes against girls are rising in Sri Lanka, Chief Inspector Manoj Samarasekara, head of the Police Children and Women’s Bureau. The country, he explains, “cannot tolerate this situation” with at least ten cases filed every day.

Under Sri Lankan law, sexual relations with people under the age of 16 is considered rape, regardless of the consent of the minor in question, and could land the culprit in prison for 20 years. Sex between underage people or between young “girlfriends” and older men are also rape.

“Every day, at least six or seven clear cases of rape are reported,” said Samarasekara speaking at a seminar sponsored by the Women Desk of the National Fisheries Solidarity Movement.

Who are the victims of this violence?

“Young people are often left to fend for themselves by families in which both parents work, or who are even abroad. Some might be tempted by divorced people who use them for their own pleasure.”

The challenge for educational institutions is to take care of minors and open their eyes to this form of abuse.

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