Over the past 11 months, 13 cases of child prostitution, 17 cases of child sex crimes and 24 other criminal offences against children have been reported from the Kalpitiya, Puttalam and Anamaduwa areas.
According to statistics provided by Puttalam probation officers, 37 such offences were recorded in the area for the same period last year (2007), indicating an increase in such offences.
Of the 54 cases reported since January this year, 53 involved female children, according to probation officer R. M. Ranatunga.
Thirteen cases involved children in the 12-to-16 years age group. Most of the victims had been harassed by family members, usually uncles, stepfathers, and even neighbours. In many cases, the victims’ mothers were away, working overseas.
Other cases included stealing money from children who had no proper homes and lived in shelters or on the street.