Sri Lanka: UNICEF expands family reunion programme
Colombo: The United Nations Children's Fund (UNICEF) has said a project to reunite family members, who were separated in the last phase of Sri Lanka's civil war, is being expanded.
The programme was started in 2009 after the end of the civil war and was run with Sri Lankan government support.
UNICEF staff, running the programme in northern Sri Lanka’s two districts, are now expanding it to cover the entire northern province and part of eastern province, which was a part of the war zone.
Although the programme has made tardy progress, it has succeeded in reuniting a number of children with their families.
According to UNICEF figures, 45 missing children have been traced and reunited with their families, but at least 582 children are still missing, BBC reports.
UNICEF said about two-thirds of the missing children were reportedly recruited by the Liberation of Tamil Tigers Eelam (LTTE), but 30 percent of them were last seen in government-controlled areas.
UNICEF Sri Lanka Representative Reza Hossaini said that tracing the children is an important part of the reconciliation process.