A young girl has lodged a case at the United Nations Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) detailing the relentless corporal punishment and abuse she experienced at her school in Sri Lanka, when she was just 11 years old.
The case, believed to be the first of its kind, has been accepted by the top UN body, and asks the court to protect all children in Sri Lanka from corporal punishment, and to put an end to conflicting legislation inside the country which has created a loophole allowing child assaults.
Speaking to the Voice of the Child from London, Adriana Wickramanayaka Cutter, who is now 14, talked about the violence she experienced at an international school in Sri Lanka and how it led to a trauma diagnosis.
Like many children at school in Sri Lanka, Adriana was subjected to repeated blows to the head, painful bouts of ear pulling and demands to kneel before male teachers in front of the class, as forms of discipline. After her parents complained, the school waged a bullying campaign against Adriana, which lasted almost two years.
Her brother Alex Wickramanayaka Cutter, 18, spoke about how his sister’s treatment affected him, and what happened to him after his parents objected to the routine use of corporal punishment at the school.
Adriana and Alex’s mother Dr Thushara Wickramanayaka, who is the daughter of former Sri Lankan Prime Minister Ratnasiri Wickramanayaka, and the founder of the Stop Child Cruelty Trust, joined the call from Sri Lanka to explain how the law suit came about, and why it is needed to put at end to a culture of child assault around the world.