With support from The Asia Foundation, the Center for Equality and Justice (CEJ) is implementing a project on sexual bribery in Sri Lanka. Sexual bribery is when someone in a position of power, like a public official (e.g., Grama Niladhari/Village Officer, Police Officer, Samurdhi /Welfare Officer, Judge, etc.), demands or implies that sexual acts are required to provide entitled services or benefits. Globally, sexual bribery is underreported due to fear, a lack of understanding and research. In Sri Lanka, CEJ’s completed and ongoing research shows that many individuals, especially women, female heads of households, and LGBTQI persons encounter sexual bribery when accessing public services. Denial of such services is a violation of their socio-economic, civil, and political rights.
A key component of the project is a qualitative research study on the occurrence and prevalence of sexual bribery with a special focus on the health and justice sectors. Using key informant interviews with victim-survivors and focus group discussions, CEJ hopes to learn more about the contributing factors to sexual bribery in the local context. CEJ conducted several capacity-building workshops on gender and sexual bribery for officials at the Commission to Investigate Allegations of Bribery or Corruption (CIABOC) and developed a pilot complaint platform to report incidents of sexual bribery.
Most recently, CEJ launched a 360 media campaign to increase awareness of sexual bribery as an unacceptable and egregious form of corruption. CEJ strongly believes that the state sector, as the largest workforce in Sri Lanka, should take the lead in ending sexual bribery by encouraging corruption-free services and enforcing zero-tolerance for sexual bribery in the public sector. Accordingly, as part of our holistic approach, CEJ launched the online campaign on UN Public Service Day. We invite you to follow the campaign on our social media pages (Webpage (https://cejsrilanka.org/sexual-bribery/), Facebook English(@TheOpenSecret.Eng), Facebook Sinhala (@vivurtharahasa), Facebook Tamil (@பிரபல இரகசியம்), Twitter (@CEJ_SriLanka), Instagram (@cej_srilanka)) to learn more about sexual bribery and how to take action for safer and more just communities. TV, radio, and print materials will be disseminated in the coming weeks. Thank you for joining our campaign. Your rights have #NoConditions.