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‘Inform us of employment of children’

2 years ago

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  • Public Security Ministry makes request from public
BY Pamodi Waravita The Ministry of Public Security yesterday (27) informed The Morning that it requests everybody with information on incidents pertaining to the unlawful employment of children to inform the law enforcement authorities of the matter. This was told to The Morning when questioned about the veracity of the news doing the rounds that underage children were employed in the fisheries sector, in particular in the dried fish industry. This announcement follows a statement by Police Media Spokesperson Senior Deputy Inspector General of Police (SDIG) Ajith Rohana who said yesterday that the Police will be commencing special operations throughout the Colombo city, starting from 27 July, to find underage children (below the age of 16 years) who are employed as domestic workers. SDIG Rohana further said that these raids will be conducted by the Police Child and Women’s Bureau, following recent incidents which have revealed that children under the age of 16 are being used for domestic work and are subjected to cruelty. These raids come approximately two weeks after the death of a 16-year-old girl employed at parliamentarian Rishad Bathiudeen’s residence due to burn injuries. Earlier this month, the Police said that investigations have revealed that a girl was brought to the house of MP Bathiudeen in October 2020 as a domestic worker, when she was 15 years and 11 months old. The girl, who had been admitted to the Colombo National Hospital on 3 July with burn injuries, had died on 15 July while receiving treatment, the Borella Police added. Criminal investigations are underway regarding the matter and it has been revealed that 11 children were employed at the said household over the years, brought there by a broker who is suspected to be 64-year-old Ponnaiyah Pandaram, alias Shankar. MP Bathiudeen’s wife, 46-year-old Sheyabdeen Ayesha, and three others including her father, 70-year-old Mohammed Sheyabdeen, the broker Pandaram, and her brother 44-year-old Sheyabdeen Ismadeen have been further remanded in connection with the case with the latter being remanded over the alleged rape of another girl employed in the same household, who is now 22 years old. The case will be heard again on 9 August.

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