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Committee to investigate children in armed conflict

The Government of Sri Lanka

August 29, 2007

A committee has been appointed to inquire into allegations of abduction and recruitment of children for use in armed conflict. The Inter- Ministerial Committee on Human Rights (IMCHR) and the Ministry of Human Rights has taken this decision in consultation with the Secretary to the President.

The necessity of appointing such a committee was highlighted by the United Nations Security Council Working Group on Children and Armed Conflict at their seventh meeting held on the 7th of February 2007.

The Government of Sri Lanka conveyed to the Working Group that it would adopt necessary measures to clarify the situation with regard to alleged child recruitments after an impartial investigation. It was also informed to the UN Working Council that the Government of Sri Lanka is fully committed to the rehabilitation and reintegration of child combatants who escaped from the captivity of the armed groups.A media release issued by the Ministry of Disaster Management and Human Rights said.

The rehabilitation and reintegration is being done through the provisions of a protective environment as well as family reunification and vocational training.

The Government firmly believes that the conclusions of this committee obtained through an independent and credible investigation would clarify the issues and allegations made against some elements of the Security Forces in connection with the abduction and recruitment of children by the Karuna faction.

The committee will comprise 9 senior officials who are experts in child rights and other relevant subjects.

The committee will liaise and communicate with other consultative and coordinating mechanisms established by the Government that bear responsibility for the safeguarding of human rights, the press release states.

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