Child Rights in Sri Lanka


Against a backdrop of civil unrest, economic collapse and natural disasters, Sri Lanka has done well to advance the situation of children across the country including action to address child labour - yet challenges persist. Today 2.3% of the country’s 4.5 million children are working, half of which are engaged in child labour and some engage in the worst forms of child labour. 


As many as 85% of Sri Lanka’s working children reside in rural areas and the majority of them work within the service sector. They are often in precarious conditions that harm their health and safety. A child rights risk assessment of Sri Lanka's tea industry carried out by The Centre for Save the Children in 2020 found that child labour, low wages of parents, poor living conditions and lack of day-care among others, all pose risks to children linked to the agricultural sector. Working children also face challenges accessing education, with only 39% of them attending school in 2016. 


The Sri Lankan economic crisis in 2022 is continuing to impact the nation's population. The economy contracted by 7.8 percent in 2022 and 7.9 percent in the first half of 2023 according to the World Bank. Despite being on a slow path of recovery, issues such as malnutrition, poverty and difficulties keeping children in school persist. Although price increases have been contained in 2023, the situation for children and families, particularly in rural areas in Sri Lanka, is still worrisome. 


Supporting You in Sri Lanka


The Centre has an office and full-time staff in Sri Lanka and is working in close partnership with Save the Children to implement the Mother and Child-Friendly Seal for Responsible Business –  an initiative that is currently targeting business entities in the tea sector but will be scaled to other industries in the future. The Centre has also conducted child rights and risk assessments to help different actors along the tea supply chain to deepen their understanding of child rights risks in plantation settings. All of The Centre’s services are available in Sri Lanka. Interested in receiving updates on our work in Sri Lanka's tea sector? Please join our mailing list to receive our "Tea for Transformation" quarterly newsletter. 


Browse Our Work in Sri Lanka


Highlights from the 2024 Co-Creating a Family-Friendly Tea Conference
26/06/2024 | Events
Highlights from the 2024 Co-Creating a Family-Friendly Tea Conference
This year's conference highlighted human rights and dignity of workers on smallholder farms and small to mid-sized estates.
Read More
/news-and-events/highlights-from-the-2024-co-creating-a-family-friendly-tea-conference
Sustainable Menstrual Hygiene Management in Sri Lanka's Tea Plantations
28/05/2024 | Stories
Sustainable Menstrual Hygiene Management in Sri Lanka's Tea Plantations
Read More
/impact/sustainable-menstrual-hygiene-management-in-sri-lanka-s-tea-plantations
2024 Sri Lanka Seal Challenge Round 2 Launch: Human Rights in Business for Tea Smallholders, Private Tea Estates and Tea Farmers
21/05/2024 | News
2024 Sri Lanka Seal Challenge Round 2 Launch: Human Rights in Business for Tea Smallholders, Private Tea Estates and Tea Farmers
Submit your concept notes for a chance to secure funding support and/or technical guidance.
Read More
/news-and-events/2024-sri-lanka-seal-challenge-round-2-launch-human-rights-in-business-for-tea-smallholders-private-tea-estates-and-tea-farmers
Co-Creating A Family-Friendly Tea Industry Held on May 21 Focusing on Smallholders and Small Private Estates
20/05/2024 | Events
Co-Creating A Family-Friendly Tea Industry Held on May 21 Focusing on Smallholders and Small Private Estates
Our annual conference in Sri Lanka is back, this time focusing on tea smallholder farms and private small and mid-sized estates.
Read More
/news-and-events/co-creating-a-family-friendly-tea-industry-held-on-may-21-focusing-on-smallholders-and-small-private-estates
New Study Findings on Child Rights in Tourism to be Shared at Workshops in Sri Lanka
29/03/2024 | News
New Study Findings on Child Rights in Tourism to be Shared at Workshops in Sri Lanka
A new assessment with Save the Children Sri Lanka sheds light on child rights risks in Sri Lanka’s tourism sector.
Read More
/news-and-events/new-study-findings-on-child-rights-in-tourism-to-be-shared-at-workshops-in-sri-lanka
2024 Sri Lanka Seal Challenge Round 1 Launch: Co-Funding Opportunity for Tea Companies to Empower Gender Equality
06/03/2024 | News
2024 Sri Lanka Seal Challenge Round 1 Launch: Co-Funding Opportunity for Tea Companies to Empower Gender Equality
Submit your concept notes for a chance to secure funding support and/or technical guidance.
Read More
/news-and-events/2024-sri-lanka-seal-challenge-round-1-launch-co-funding-opportunity-for-tea-companies-to-empower-gender-equality-in-the-tea-sector
Making History Through Equality: First-Ever Female Field Staff Supervisors in Sri Lanka Start Work at Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC
04/03/2024 | Stories
Making History Through Equality: First-Ever Female Field Staff Supervisors in Sri Lanka Start Work at Talawakelle Tea Estates PLC
Read More
/impact/making-history-through-equality-first-ever-female-field-staff-supervisors-in-sri-lanka-start-work-at-talawakelle-tea-estates-plc
“MCFS”: The Mother and Child-Friendly Seal Now Identifiable at Colombo Tea Auction
23/01/2024 | News
“MCFS”: The Mother and Child-Friendly Seal Now Identifiable at Colombo Tea Auction
The Mother and Child-Friendly Seal for Responsible Business ("MCFS") logo is now featured in Colombo Tea Auction broker catalogues, making it simple for brokers and buyers to recognise and support businesses promoting positive impacts for women and children.
Read More
/news-and-events/mcfs-the-mother-and-child-friendly-seal-now-identifiable-at-colombo-tea-auction
A Responsible Business Creating Real Impact: ETS' Pioneering Social Protection Programme
09/01/2024 | Stories
A Responsible Business Creating Real Impact: ETS' Pioneering Social Protection Programme
Read More
/impact/a-responsible-business-creating-real-impact-ets-pioneering-social-protection-programme

Leave a message

By clicking submit, you agree to The Centre’s Privacy Policy, and Terms of Use.

Submit
Join our mailing list to receive our quarterly newsletter and other major updates.
©2024 The Centre for Child Rights and Business Privacy Policy Terms of use

By using this website, you agree to our use of cookies. We use cookies to provide you with a great experience and to help our website run effectively.