Ensure that the National Child Protection Authority is independent

The UN Committee on the Rights of the Child examined Sri Lanka, Guatemala, Panama, Seychelles, Spain, Solomon Islands, Palau and Marshall Islands during its latest session from 15 January to 2 February in Geneva.
In its concluding observations on the combined fifth and sixth periodic reports on Sri Lanka the Committee it wanted Sri Lanka to implement its commitments under the Human Rights Council Resolution 30/1 in an effective and timely manner, while ensuring that children, and those who were children at the time, be given a voice in national reconciliation and transitional justice processes and be supported as victims, witnesses or claimants. In particular, the Committee wanted Sri Lanka to:

(a)   Strengthen its efforts to operationalize a fully independent Office of Missing Persons with a special attention to addressing cases of individuals who were children at the time of conflict and are still missing.

(b)  Ensure that all persons responsible for recruitment and use of children in the course of the armed conflict are brought to justice.

(c)  Consider formalizing its commitment not to prosecute children or persons who were children involved in armed conflict.

(d)  Provide psychological support to former child combatants to address the trauma and other mental health issues, and children who have been internally displaced and/or deprived of a family environment owing to violence and/or enforced disappearance.

(e)  Ensure that all schools currently run by the military are transferred back under the Ministry of Education.

(f) Ensure that training of the Cadet Corps does not include military activities, and

(g)  Consider acceding to the additional protocols to the Geneva Conventions and the Rome Statute of the International Criminal Court.

It also wanted Sri lanka to ensure that the National Child Protection Authority is independent, reporting to a level above any one government department, and that it can continue to fully exercise its functions under any circumstances and is adequately resourced and  ensuring of the independence of the NHRC in conformity with the principles relating to the status of national institutions for the promotion and protection of human rights (the Paris Principles)

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