Sri Lanka: UNODC Partners with Legal Aid Commission to Promote Access to Justice and Fundamental Rights

Panadura, Sri Lanka/05 April 2023: UNODC, with support from the UN Secretary General’s Peace Building Fund (PBF), is implementing a project aimed at fostering peace in Sri Lanka through promoting access to justice and protecting the rights space. As part of this initiative, a capacity-building workshop was delivered to 40 state officials from the Department of Prisons in Panadura, Western Province, Sri Lanka.

The training provided participants with a better understanding of fundamental rights in Sri Lanka, particularly in custodial settings, and emphasized the importance of protecting the rights of victims and witnesses of crimes. Discussions also addressed the challenges that hinder the implementation of fundamental rights, such as fear of stigmatization, cultural perceptions, social alienation, and lack of faith in law enforcement.

The workshop equipped officials to recognize the importance of protecting fundamental rights and implementing relevant legal provisions. Through this initiative, participants learnt about applicable legal frameworks and provisions, and the necessary redress and referral mechanisms for communities.

The workshop was delivered in collaboration with Sri Lanka's Legal Aid Commission and is part of a larger effort to promote peace and justice in the country. By empowering officials and communities alike to protect fundamental rights, the aim is to foster an environment of trust, support, and cooperation in Sri Lanka.

This activity contributed to SDG 5 and SDG 16:

(Supported by the UN Secretary General’s Peacebuilding Fund)