Ministry of Defence, Defence Headquarters Complex, Sri Jayawardenepura,Kotte, Sri Lanka
The investigation of trafficking offences is often complicated by the clandestine nature of the criminality and hence, requires a strong law enforcement response. The prosecution of human trafficking offences presents a number of challenges. The reluctance of victims to come forward and report the crime, the frequent need to rely on evidence collected abroad in relation to transnational trafficking, and the potential for suspected victims and witnesses to be either traumatized by their experience or intimidated makes the collection of evidence a complex undertaking. Continued efforts will be made to overcome these challenges and ensure a robust enforcement response. The 'prosecution' pillar mainly focuses on,
• Providing targeted training and education for prosecutors, Judges, law enforcement, and other relevant state officials,
• Developing systems, strategies, and tools to carry out investigations and prosecutions expeditiously,
• Enhance intelligence collection coordination and collaboration.
The Employment of Women, Young Persons, and Children Act has been amended last year to increase the minimum age of employment from 14 years to 16 years.
Shop and Office Employees’ Act, Factories Ordinance, Minimum Wages (Indian Labour) Ordinance, and regulations of Employees Provident Fund Act, have been amended with respect to the minimum age of employment, thus contributing to the prevention of child labour.
The list of hazardous forms of occupations, applicable to the employment of young persons under the age of 18 years has been gazetted in November last year and expanded to 71 categories of occupations. Employment of persons under the age of 18 years, as domestic servants to has been prohibited by the new amendment. Recognizing and respecting the sensitivity of cases involving children, at the request of the National Child Protection Authority, the Judicial Service Commission (JSC) has issued a Circular in June 2021 to all Judges of the High Courts to implement a special system of identification to all cases relating to child abuse (including trafficking) and to assign dedicated dates to hear such matters.
Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for Border Surveillance Unit (BSU) - the newly established investigation arm of the Department of Immigration and Emigration (DIE) against human trafficking and smuggling at ports of entry and exits have been finalized with the approval/endorsement of the Controller General in October 2021.
Identifying the need to review and update the existing Labour Migration Policy, a series of wide consultations were held in 2021 and public views were also obtained. The State Ministry of Foreign Employment and Market Diversification is presently engaged in the process of reviewing the text in light of the public views received.
The MOJ initiated steps for video conferencing facilities between Court houses and prison locations to ensure smooth functioning of the Court proceedings amidst the pandemic situation. In addition, the MoJ launched a special program to facilitate virtual hearings at the Supreme Court and the Court of Appeal.
It should be noted that in addition to providing exceptions to the period of prescription, the COVID -19 (Temporary Provisions) Act also provides for the assignment of alternative Courts if regular Courts cannot function due to COVID -19 and the use of remote communication technology.
• Attorney General's Department - 011-2149000
• Ministry of Justice - 011-2149000
• National Child Protection Authority - 0112-778 911
• National Authority for the protection of Victims of Crime and Witnesses - 1985
• Bureau for the Prevention of Abuse of Children & Women - 011-2186055