Specialised care for displaced children
Over 10,000 children screened
Teams to carry out assessment programs
The Government has laid emphasis on the protection and
care of conflict affected and displaced children by deploying teams
consisting of specialized personnel from the fields of health, child
care, law enforcement etc. to address their emotional, physical,
psychological and social needs.
National Child Protection Authority Chairman Jagath
Wellawatta said these teams are to carry out assessment programs and
address short-term and long-term needs, based on relevant reports on a
More than 10,000 children have been screened so far,
with their short-term needs being addressed and reports concerning their
current status being obtained to make arrangements for their long-term
needs, he added.
These special teams which include pediatricians would
look into IDP children's physical and mental health conditions, possible
abuse, identify tsunami and un-accompanied children and other needs.
Immediate attention would be given to the safety of
orphans and children separated from their parents to ensure that they do
not fall prey to undesirable elements.
Priority would also be given to reunification after
identifying either their parents or their next of kin (only in selected
cases) without doubt, Wellawatta added. According to him, the teams are
working at the Ramanthapuram Welfare Village, and are proceeding
according to demarcated lots visiting every household.
The screening process in this welfare village is
almost complete and officials would begin their mission in another
village soon, he added.
These teams consisting of personnel from Colombo are
sent to the relevant areas on a weekly basis with one team taking over
as the other team leaves after one week.
These visits are to continue on a cyclical basis with
the teams revisiting the previously inspected villages to ensure
The teams will also provide immediate health needs and
recommend hospitalization for certain cases if the need arises. Well
trained volunteer teams are to be deployed to carry forward the work and
The progress of the program which commenced on June 1,
is being supervised by a 20 member panel from universities, the National
Child Protection Authority and the Department of Probation and Childcare
Department. The Government has also taken steps to provide unhindered
access to education for displaced schoolgoing children.
The Examinations Department has started a process to
equip children with knowledge and prepare those who are to sit the
upcoming GCE A/L (Advanced Level), G.C.E.O/L (Ordinary Level) and Year
Five Scholarship examinations.
They have distributed educational material including
past examination papers and model answer sheets containing guidelines
among students to prepare for the examinations in addition to special
A temporary identity card for examination purposes is
to be introduced to the candidates. A total number of 750 students
housed in camps are to face this year's G.C.E. A/L while around 5,000
students will sit the year 5 examination.
Courtesy: Daily News