USAID Partners with Sri Lanka to Address Sexual Crimes
March 14, 2012
The United States Agency for International Development (USAID), in partnership with the Ministry of Health and Ministry of Justice, launched its Sexual Assault Forensic Examination (SAFE) program with a roundtable discussion in Colombo on Monday March 12. The SAFE program aims to increase prosecution of sexual crimes through improved response to victims, better evidence collection and stronger coordination with local authorities. It will help decrease incidence of sexual assault and abuse through successful prosecution of offenders.
Through USAID, the development arm of the U.S. Embassy in Colombo, the SAFE program provides evidence collection kits and specialized professional training on collecting forensic evidence from sexual assault victims. It also supports university forensic departments and provides grants to partner organizations and communities with a focus on the North and East of Sri Lanka.
More than 50 experts from across Sri Lanka, specializing in forensics, law, medicine, curriculum development and advocacy, attended the forum. It included presentations from five of the country’s leading experts on forensics, law, and medical training. The program is implemented in partnership with the Ministry of Health and the University Grants Commission and in coordination with the Ministry of Justice through the Attorney General's Department.