UNICEF says it is concerned with reports of violence during protests involving children in Sri Lanka.
“All actors must guarantee the right to peaceful assembly and freedom of expression, including for children,” it said in a statement.
According to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, children and adolescents have the right to participate and express their opinions on issues that affect them, the UN Children’s Fund said.
The State, local communities and families have a shared responsibility to protect children and safeguard their rights, it said.
“All acts of violence must stop. Every adult must act with a sense of responsibility and avoid exposing children to any form of violence, including during protests.”
“We call on law enforcement agencies to avoid the use of force and ensure that fundamental guarantees for the protection of children remain applicable everywhere, at all times”.