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Call for Children's Magistrate's Court

The high percentage of children's cases reported in the Juvenile Courts, Bambalapitiya and Colombo Magistrate's Courts is an endorsement of the need for a "Children's Magistrate's Court" to be established in the Judicial Zone of Colombo, said Ministry of Justice and Law Reforms Secretary Suhada Gamlath at a conference held recently in Colombo.

The proposed Children's Magistrate's Court is to be financed by the USAID.

The research findings and observations based on a simultaneous data collected from the Magistrate's Courts in the Judicial Zone of Colombo were formally presented to child protection stakeholders at a meeting held at the Ministry of Justice and Law Reforms recently.

The data collection was carried out by the Ministry in collaboration with the Judicial Service Commission and Save the Children in Sri Lanka (SCISL), with financial assistance of USAID. The research was conducted by Attorney-at-Law/Consultant to SCISL Harshana Nanayakkara.

Among the key findings was that a vast majority of children who came into contact with the justice system were those "in need of care protection" (as defined by the Children and Young Persons Ordinance), in comparison to child offenders.

 

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