Batticoloa, Sri Lanka, 11 August 2017 — In one of the first of its kind in Sri Lanka’s Batticoloa district, government officials joined provincial- and national-level child protection stakeholders at the Creating a Favourable Environment for Child Care & Protection Conference. Topics at the event included the need for expansion of family-based care practices, the need for collaboration in the field, and the critical situation of vulnerable and orphaned children in Batticaloa. A parallel youth program included moving presentations by young people about their needs as the future of Sri Lanka.
In his keynote address, Mr. D.M.S Abayagunawardana, Chief Secretary of the Eastern Provincial Council, spoke about the multidimensional approach necessary for care and protection for children. He explained that strong, stable families nurture children and keep a child from needing to be removed from their family.
Ms. Marini De Livera, Chairperson of the NCPA, shared Sri Lanka’s commitment to the idea of family-based care. She pledged to elevate youth voices to the legislative platform and help change laws and practices to put children’s best interests first in today’s rapidly changing world.
Government officials, SOS Children’s Villages, Save the Children, UNICEF and other organizations that advocate for children engaged in energetic dialogue during the conference, pledging to convert conversation into action.
Mr. V. Dharshan Vijayaretnam, National Program Director for CERI-Sri Lanka, closed the conference with CERI’s commitment to support the government’s roll out of family-based care throughout Batticaloa, promising nationwide advocacy during the reform and expansion of Sri Lanka’s child protection system. For more photos of the event, visit