Amendments proposed to the Children and Young Persons Ordinance establishes that the age of a person who shall be a child will be raised from 16 to 18 years.
This was discussed at length at the Select Committee of Parliament to look into and report to Parliament its recommendations to ensure gender equity and equality which met recently under Dr. Sudarshini Fernandopulle, the chairperson of the committee.
Accordingly, the amendments propose to omit the reference to “young persons” and rename the principal enactment as the Children’s Ordinance.
Furthermore, every reference to “Children and Young Persons Ordinance”, “children and young persons”, “child or young person” and “age of sixteen years” in any regulation or rule made under the principal enactment or notice, notification, contract, communication or other document issued under the principal enactment shall be read and construed as a reference respectively, to “Children’s Ordinance”, “children”, “child” and “age of eighteen years.
Section 71 of the principal enactment is hereby amended, by the repeal of subsection (6) of that section establishing that “nothing in this section shall be construed to affect the right of any parent, teacher or legal guardian to punish a child or youth”.
The purpose of the Children and Young Persons Ordinance Clause 23 is to make orders for the establishment of Juvenile Courts for the supervision of juvenile offenders for the protection of children and young persons.
According to the Children and Young Persons (Amendment) Bill issued on 18.07.2022, Clause 23 is amended, and the amendments will come into effect on a fixed date published in the Gazette by the Minister of Courts, Prisons and Constitutional Reforms.
State Minister Dr. Seetha Arambepola, Members of Parliament Thalatha Athukorala, Rohini Kaviratne, Eran Wickramaratne, Dr. Harini Amarasuriya, Manjula Dissanayake, Secretary to the Committee and Deputy Secretary General of Parliament and Chief of Staff Mrs. Kushani Rohanadeera and senior officials representing the Ministry of Women and Child Affairs and the Ministry of Justice, Prison Affairs and Constitutional Reforms were present at this committee meeting held.