During recent decades Sri Lanka has made considerable progress in improving the day-to-day lives of its citizens and children. Despite deep trauma left following the end of civil war, a spate of natural disasters and a legacy of unsettled political, legal and institutional change Sri Lanka has done well to advance the situation of children across the country.
However, children around the island desperately need support to fully realise their rights and unlock their individual potential. Extreme poverty continues to exist, particularly in the North, East, rural tea plantation communities and urban areas.
Vulnerable communities face the threat of infant and under-five mortality, malnutrition and unequal access to preventative and curative health services. Violence, abuse and exploitation still disturb communities, institutions and homes because poor awareness coupled with a scarcity of coordinated, well-resourced and readily-available child protection services make it hard for children to go about their lives free from fear, abuse or discrimination.
Too many children are leaving the education system without the skills or resilience to prepare them for life and the mind-set needed to strive in today’s competitive society.