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New move to legally identify age of child and youth

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The Cabinet has given the nod to offer legal interpretation to a child and youth based on their age, Justice and Prison Reforms Minister Talatha Atukorale said.

Accordingly, those between 18 and 22 years of age will be legally identified as youth and those below 18 years as children, she added.

"The Youthful Offenders (training school) Ordinance of 1939 will be amended to accommodate the new interpretation to youth and child," she said and added up to now the age limit of a youth was between 16 to 22 years and a child was identified as those under 16 years of age.

One of the main effects of the new regulations will be that a child less than 18 years of age cannot be sent to jail on conviction of a criminal act but to a delinquency correctional school, she said.

These new regulations are being introduced in accordance to the Child Rights Convention which Sri Lanka has ratified, Minister Atukorale stressed. (Sandun A Jayasekera)

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