Child abuse - an impediment to country's development
Lanka‚Äôs children: their well-being must be ensured
CHILDREN'S RIGHTS: In Western countries, where their citizens enjoy
relatively high standards of living, the protection of children's rights
and welfare is given high priority.
Unlike in many Third World countries such as India, Thailand and Sri
Lanka where child abuse in varying forms is very common and the measures
taken by the State institutions to combat this menace is quite
inadequate, most of the Western countries' strict implementation of
stringent laws with heavy penalties imposed on the offenders without
consideration of any distinctions such as rank or status, have been very
effective in eradicating this cankerous evil from their soils.
It is ironic as push button civilization generally offers its
citizens bright prospects of enhancing their status very specially in
the Western countries, this naturally entails hard work with long hours,
by the employees and in this set up children are left alone to find
their own devices of enjoyment without being subjected to parental
In developed countries, the State institutions play an active role in
looking after these children by operating a chain of child-care centres
with modern facilities and well qualified teachers to supervise and
monitor the progress of these children.
Undoubtedly, their service is quite professional as they are quite
committed to provide these children an excellent service, apart from
sparkling their lives with a lot of fun, care and attention.
However in contrast, many Third World countries, which are saddled
with the heavy burden of abject poverty, and also with widespread
corruption which is rampant in the State sector effectively hindering
the strict implementation of these laws which are tailor-made to protect
the interest of children's rights.
There have been many instances in the past, the culprits of child
abuse who hold high ranks in the State or private sector, intimidating
the important witnesses with dire consequences who as a result of these
threats decline to give evidence at a court of law against these
In the Third World countries the total eradication of child abuse
should be considered a Herculean task.
In some of these Third World countries verbal abuse is accepted as a
deterrent, or a corrective measure of keeping the children under
control, or away from mischief and in the same token physical and sexual
offenses against children are tacitly accepted as a harmless fancy to be
tolerated, very specially when their guardians are financially benefited
by the offenders' reciprocal gestures of generosity.
It is an open secret that many foreign paedophiles roam quite freely
in the sandy beaches in the South of Sri Lanka searching with an Eagle's
concentration to trap their young victims, well guided and aided by a
phalanx of pimps and in some instances by some unscrupulous hoteliers
who give their nodding approval to these nefarious activities
well-knowing that these quaint foreigners are quite willing to pay them
handsomely for their labours and enterprising spirits.
It must be admitted that in many Third World countries, the law
enforcing authorities who are entrusted with keeping a tag on the
offenders who brazenly commit these offenses, do not get enough support
from the community very specially when these offenses are committed by
Besides, the lack of officers to engage in surveillance of such
culprits' activities, also have a negative effect in curbing this wide
Unfortunately some powerful offices in the State and private sector
go to the extent of rationalizing the whole process as a "Necessary
evil" to be tolerated, as it brings much needed foreign currency to
these impoverished countries and also help the villagers to better their
standards of living without which aid they would have to live with the
prospect of being constantly subjected to malnourishment and starvation.
As children will inevitably become our future citizens who will be
called upon to take a collective responsibility in the democratic
process by electing, their political representatives to the legislative
bodies, the political leaders of these countries cannot and should not
shy away from their moral responsibility of protecting our children from
predators who brazenly commit such heinous offenses, for it would
certainly have a detrimental effect on their mental growth.
If this menace is not tackled with a firm resolve, the future leaders
of these countries would be incapable of making any judicious and
beneficial decisions, ensuring progress of their countries is not
hampered in any way due to their stunted growth.
Otherwise it is not surprising that they would naturally act like
puppets on a string, in which adverse climate, immorality would be given
a decree, to engage in an idiotic pursuit of vanquishing spiritual and
moral values as irrelevant and obsolete, thus plunging these countries
into an abyss of living hell propelling towards total destruction.
To sum up, a moral stand on this issue should be taken without
considering the probable economic setbacks, which may ensue in the
short-term as it would go a long way to uplift the morale of our
children, thus making their outlook positive and well-balanced, ensuring
it would accrue a rich harvest of benefits to the nation in the
Undoubtedly it would be compatible with our indigent value system
based on strong and stable family ties which has given us impunity to
face many challenges with stoic equanimity.