Sri Lanka—As the crisis in Sri Lanka deepens, ECPAT International and our global membership are calling for increased protection of Sri Lanka’s children. A state of emergency has been declared as the country grapples with inflation and protesters take to the streets. We are concerned about the reports of daily power cuts, shortages of basics such as fuel, food and medicines, and are calling for the government and those in power to address the urgent needs of the most vulnerable population—the children.
“Witnessing and experiencing violence, instability, and trauma has a detrimental effect on childhood development. We cannot allow an entire generation of children to face this alone and without support.”
Shrinkhala Thapa, ECPAT International Regional Coordinator for South Asia
The country is currently facing significant shortages in essentials items such as food, medicine, milk powder, baby food and other necessary commodities, placing young children at risk. Poverty, economic instability, and hunger remain strong economic push factors that drive more children towards exploitation.
As the Government of Sri Lanka, and other political factions convene to resolve the current situation, we are calling for increased attention to ensure that children in Sri Lanka do not continue to suffer.
There is a massive scarcity of infant milk powder in Sri Lanka, particularly among low-income households in urban areas and the plantation sector. This is not only due to the massive increase in the cost of milk powder – prior to the crisis 400 gr of milk powder cost LKR 350, now the same weight costs over LKR 1,000 – but also due to the scarcity of milk powder in the country. ECPAT is supporting ECPAT Sri Lanka calling on those who can assist by sending them milk powder, which will be distributed to local children in vulnerable households.