The Legal Aid Commission of Sri Lanka is planning to launch a campaign, on November 24, to eliminate violence against women, an official of the commission said. “The campaign will mainly focus on women being sexually harassed in public transport and the commission will organize workshops, poster campaigns and public speakers will also create awareness on the issue,” Chairman of the Commission, S. S. Wijeratne said.
The campaign will continue till the International Human Rights Day, which falls on December 10.
Sexually harassed women in public transport had been rapidly increasing though there are no records of the exact number of cases reported, he said. “According to the current laws an offender could receive five years of imprisonment for harassing commuters who use public transport, though a lot of cases are not reported due to various reasons,” Wijeratne said.
The campaign would see the participation of the first lady, Shiranthi Rajapaksa, various ambassadors in Sri Lanka and many other high profile citizens of the country.
Wijeratne said that violence against women should be stopped immediately since women are a vital part of every development aspect of the country.
“Sri Lanka ranks 14th in the world in terms of the women’s achievements and first in the Asian region,” he said.
The campaign on violence against women is conducted by the Legal Aid Commission every year and this is the seventh consecutive year of the campaign.
Responding to a query, Wijerathne said that the commission is planning to carry out training programmes for judges and legal officers in November and December.