Sri Lanka Accused Of Discriminating Against Women
By Maryam Azwer
A European human rights watchdog has accused Sri Lanka of violating a United Nations (UN) convention on discrimination against women.
The European Centre for Constitutional and Human Rights (ECCHR) in a recent media statement said that women and girls in the North and East are subject to harassment by police and military personnel.
These incidents are linked to the Prevention of Terrorism
Act (PTA), which, the statement said, “makes it easier for police and military members to carry out body inspections and ‘searches’ without having to justify doing so. These searches are often carried out alongside sexual harassment and violence that is specifically of a sexual nature.”
It is therefore required to eliminate all laws that may lead to direct or indirect forms of discrimination,” said the ECCHR.
The ECCHR also called on the UN to conduct inquiries into the prevailing conditions surrounding women and girls in the North and East, and to “encourage Sri Lanka to reconcile the PTA with the Convention.”
The UN Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW), recognizes violence on the grounds of gender as a form of discrimination.
“Sri Lanka ratified this agreement and is thus currently disregarding the obligation it accepted to fight any forms of discrimination and to ensure the effective prosecution of perpetrators of gender-based violence.