Sri Lanka

Victim Assistance

Last updated: 26 November 2018

Victim assistance action points

  • Conduct a comprehensive victim needs assessment, in collaboration with relevant ministries
  • Develop a victim assistance data base
  • Designate government victim assistance focal points

Victim assistance planning and coordination

Government focal points

None. It was planned that victim assistance focal points should be designated in the Ministry of Health and the Ministry of Social Empowerment, Welfare and Kandyan Heritage (Ministry of Social Empowerment, formerly the Ministry of Social Services, MoSS) by November 2018

Coordination activities


None. A specific budget was planned to be allocated to victim assistance in 2019. National Mine Action Center (NMAC) submitted a budget proposal in 2018.[1] This was in accordance with NMAC’s strategic role of coordinating with state and non-state victim assistance partners to improve access to existing services for mine/explosive remnants of war (ERW) survivors and to address the gaps in service availability[2]


None. However, some victim assistance objectives are included in the National Strategy for Mine Action in Sri Lanka[3]

Disability sector integration

None reported. Ministries that should have responsibly for victim assistance include the Ministry of Social Empowerment, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Defense, which acts as the Directorate of Rehabilitation[4]

Survivor inclusion and participation

Minimal involvement survivors and/or their representative organizations in planning and the provision of services[5]


Sri Lanka’s initial Mine Ban Treaty Article 7 report is due on 28 November 2018.


International commitments and obligations

Sri Lanka is responsible for a significant number of landmine survivors and survivors of other ERW. Sri Lanka has made commitments to provide victim assistance through the Mine Ban Treaty and has ratified the Convention on Cluster Munitions

Mine Ban Treaty


Convention on Cluster Munitions


Convention on Conventional Weapons Protocol V


Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disablities (CRPD)



Laws and policies

The Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka lacked adequate legislation to adequately protect and respect the rights of persons with disabilities. An amended Draft Disability Rights Bill was being reviewed by the Ministry of Social Empowerment in 2017.[6] No progress on its adoption was reported through October 2018.

Legislation prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities in employment, education, public transportation, and access to healthcare. Discrimination continued to occur in employment, education, and the provision of state services, including public transportation. Regulations on accessibility exist, but access to buildings and public transportation for persons with disabilities remained rare.[7]

Major Developments in 2017–2018

Due to budget constraints and a decrease in the number of new casualties, UNICEF reduced its efforts towards victim assistance. It noted that it became challenging to provide continued support to victims.[8]

Needs assessment

Sri Lanka planned to develop a victim assistance database in 2018 and 2019. In 2018, NMAC planned to transfer between Information Management System for Mine Action (IMSMA) platforms, from “ng” to “core,” by end of year and was in discussion on the developing of a victim assistance component within the new system.[9]

In May 2018, a national stakeholder consultation on disability data collection in the national statistical system for Incheon Strategy indicators was organized by the Social Development Division of the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP) and the Ministry of Social Welfare and Primary Industries.[10]

Medical care and rehabilitation

In the period 2017–2018, the Jaffna Jaipur Center for Disability Rehabilitation (JJCDR) provided prosthetic limbs for 103 mine/ERW survivors.[11]

Social Organizations Networking for Development (SOND) provided emergency assistance to and livelihood support to survivors.[12] SOND remained engaged in mine risk education as it had for nine years, no survivors had received victim assistance services in 2018 to October due to the small number of new casualties.[13]


Victim assistance providers and activities

Name of organization

Type of activity


Ministry of Social Empowerment (formerly the MoSS)

Community-based rehabilitation including self-help groups, medical care, assistive devices, income-generation projects, assistance with housing, and self-employment

Ministry of Health

Management of rehabilitation centers in Batticaloa and Kilinochchi

Ranaviru Sevana Rehabilitation Centre

Physical rehabilitation, social support, economic inclusion, and other assistance to disabled veterans


Jaffna Jaipur Center for Disability Rehabilitation (JJCDR)

The only center providing physical rehabilitation on the Jaffna peninsula; produced prostheses for amputees, wheelchairs, and other mobility devices, and provided micro-credit for persons with disabilities and financial support for students with disabilities; operated an outreach program for those unable to travel to the center


Psychological assistance

Social Organizations Networking for Development (SOND)

Mobility devices, psychosocial support, referrals, support for medical assistance, and economic inclusion

Valvuthayam Caritas

Prosthetics and mobility devices through Mannar Rehabilitation Center; outreach to areas such as Kilinochchi, Mullaithievu, and Puttalam

Leonard Cheshire Disability Resource Center

Access to livelihood for persons with disabilities in Gampaha district

Meththa Foundation

Prosthetic and mobility devices



Supporting provision of prosthetics and wheelchairs


Support to Ministry of Social Empowerment and NGO rehabilitation services; referrals


[1] Email from Mahinda Bandara Wickramasingha, Assistant Director of Operations, Quality Management, and Planning, NMAC, 31 October 2018.

[3] Ibid., p. 17.

[4] Ibid.

[5] Responses to Monitor questionnaire by Mihlar Mohamed, UNICEF, Colombo, 13 October 2017; and by Jayashanka Basnayake, Humanity & Inclusion (HI), Sri Lanka, 4 August 2016.

[6] Letter from the Ministry of Social Empowerment, Welfare and Kandyan Heritage, 17 October 2017.

[7] United States Department of State, “Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2017: Sri Lanka,” Washington, DC, 20 April 2018.

[8] Response to Monitor questionnaire by Mihlar Mohamed, UNICEF, Colombo, 13 October 2017.

[9] Email from Mahinda Bandara Wickramasingha, NMAC, 31 October 2018.

[11] Email from Dr. J. Ganeshamoorthy, Chairperson, JJCDR, 12 October 2018.

[12] Response to Monitor questionnaire by S. Senthurajah, Executive Director, SOND, 5 November 2016; and email, 8 October 2017.

[13] Email from S. Senthurajah, Executive Director, SOND, 10 October 2018.