U.S to help Lanka fight sexual crimes

The United States is to help Sri Lanka fight sexual crimes which will help decrease incidence of sexual assault and abuse through successful prosecution of offenders, the U.S Embassy in Colombo said in a statement on Wednesday.

The Embassy said that the United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the Sri Lankan Ministry of Health and Ministry of Justice, launched its Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) program with a roundtable discussion in Colombo.

The program aims to increase prosecution of sexual crimes through improved response to victims, better evidence collection and stronger coordination with local authorities.

Through USAID, the development arm of the U.S. Embassy in Colombo, the SAFE program provides evidence collection kits and specialized professional training on collecting forensic evidence from sexual assault victims.

It also supports university forensic departments and provides grants to partner organizations and communities with a focus on the North and East of Sri Lanka.

More than 50 experts from across Sri Lanka, specializing in forensics, law, medicine, curriculum development and advocacy, attended the forum.

It included presentations from five of the country’s leading experts on forensics, law, and medical training.

The Sri Lankan police report more than one incident of sexual abuse from across the country almost daily including child abuse and other forms of rape.