The Government says it adopts a zero tolerance policy towards all forms of human trafficking and endeavours to address this phenomenon through prevention, protection, prosecution and punishment, and promotion of international cooperation, in line with the UN Global Plan of Action to Combat Trafficking in Persons.
Sri Lanka informed the UN Human Rights Council at its ongoing 23rd session that it has enacted legislation to make trafficking a very serious offence under the Penal Code, which embodies a broad definition on human trafficking.
Having ratified the UN Convention against the Transnational Organized Crime and signed the Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons, Especially Women and Children, the Government enacted the Penal Code (Amendment) Act No 16 of 2006, which introduced legislation in line with these instruments and which applies to multiples offences committed in whole or partly in Sri Lanka.
Sri Lanka is working in collaboration with the IOM and ILO to provide specialized training for government officials in identifying victims of trafficking and in other preventive measures.
“The first government shelter for victims of human trafficking in Sri Lanka was opened in December 2012 in collaboration with the IOM. The provision of a shelter for victims of trafficking will ensure that identified victims are provided safe shelter and are also referred for necessary services, including medical, psychological and legal assistance and that the re-victimization of victims is prevented,” the government said.
The government said that States have a responsibility to protect against human rights abuses including trafficking in persons and exploitation of persons by third parties, including business enterprises and criminal association through appropriate policies, regulation and adjudication. (Colombo Gazette)