Children as domestic workers: Sri Lankan Police conducts raids to trace

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Sri Lankan Police conducts special operations in Colombo City and suburbs in the Western Province from today onwards to trace underage children working as domestic workers, Police Spokesman SDIG Ajith Rohana said.

The police have initiated the operations after the death of a 16-year-old domestic worker at the house of former Minister and Member of Parliament Rishad Bathiudeen. The medical examination revealed that the girl (domestic worker) had been subjected to prolonged sexual abuse.

“Recent incidents show there are instances where underage children are being brought to Colombo from upcountry to serve as domestic servants and then were subject to cruelty and inhuman treatment by their so-called employers,” SDIG Rohana said.

He said stringent action would be taken against such employers and the brokers who bring these children from upcountry or other areas to Colombo to work as domestic aides.

“Children in Sri Lanka engage in the worst forms of child labor, including in domestic work and commercial sexual exploitation, sometimes as a result of human trlabourking,” the United States Bureau of International Labor Affairs said in a 2019 report on Child Labor and Forced Labor. 

The report further added that Sri Lanka’s hazardous worklist is not comprehensive because it does not include domestic work, in which there is evidence that children are subject to abuse. 

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