Dr Tush Wickramanayaka
Paving the way for safer schools in Sri Lanka
For years, Dr Tush Wickramanayaka has been a passionate advocate for children’s safety. As a child, she experienced violence within her own classrooms – but only realized the devastating impact of these cultural norms when those experiences were mirrored by her 11-year-old daughter.
After 26 years as a general physician, Dr Wickramanayaka decided to take on a new challenge. She brought the abuse of her daughter to the Sri Lankan Supreme Court, and eventually, the United Nations Human Rights Commission. At the same time, she launched a national campaign to turn the tide on corporal punishment in Sri Lanka: the Stop Child Cruelty Trust.
In the years since, the Trust has grown the movement against corporal punishment across Sri Lanka, engaging not just teachers, parents and government members, but children and young people themselves.