June 20, 2013 (LBO) – A minimum age for employment may be raised to 16 years from 14 if proposals in a national policy on youth are adopted, officials said. Sri Lankan children however have had problems, especially in the past, where school-going age children in poor families were taken out of school and sent for domestic workers and other work.
The National Convention on the Rights of the Child requires compulsory schooling to be 6 to 16 years.
The National Youth Policy has been drafted with technical guidance from Sri Lanka’s Open University with inputs of intellectuals, political parties and civil society organizations.
It is open for public consultations until the end of the month.
“We are inviting everyone to genuinely engage with this initiative,” Perera said.
The national policy also proposed to establish a Youth Commission and an independent Youth Ombudsman to deal with complaints regarding the delivery of services to youth and instances of discrimination faced by youth.
Update II Sri Lanka’s National Youth Policy, which is still in the draft stage, has proposed extending the compulsory schooling age to 16 year