Wednesday, 19  February 2003  
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Govt needs support of state bodies, NGOs to ensure people's rights -Social Welfare Minister

by Nadira Gunatilleke

The Government needs the support of state organisations as well as NGOs and all other organisations in order to safeguard people's rights. I request all NGOs to support the Government's effort to establish a society established with high morals, Social Welfare Minister Ravindra Samaraweera said.

He was addressing the seminar on `National Development' held at the BMICH, Colombo recently. The seminar was jointly organised by the National Institute of Social Development (NISD) and the National Committee on Social Development.

A significant amount of work can be done successfully when the state organisations, NGOs and the private sector get together. But some NGOs still do not support the ongoing development program of the Government.

The private sector plays a major role in the social welfare process of the Social Welfare Ministry and it is very important to combine the state sector, private sector and the NGOs in order to provide a better service to the general public.

Social Welfare Ministry Secretary Ms. Jegarasasingam said that due to the on-going war and certain other reasons, a large number of women have become helpless widows.

This has been identified as a new social problem and a project was launched by the Social Welfare Ministry to make them self employed. As a part of the social integration the rehabilitation of women and children in difficult circumstances have been highlighted in an inter-ministerial collaborative effort.

Sri Lanka was one of the first countries to ratify the International Convention on the Rights of the Children which has since been endorsed by 187 countries. The integration of a gender perspective into macroeconomic policy has both the equality and efficiency dimensions. The aim is the simultaneous improvement of growth and human development performance which eventually contributes to the employment of women.

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