Advocating the Rights of Children (ARC) is deeply concerned about the many allegations of abuse towards children with disabilities that have come to the attention of the public.
ARC believes that children with disabilities require special protection measures, as they can be targeted specifically because of their vulnerabilities. ARC therefore urges relevant authorities to exercise due diligence when appointing any individual to a position of power and trust that interacts with children or when providing paid or unpaid child related employment, in sectors such as social services, education, health and juvenile justice. In this regard, ARC calls on the government to introduce a mandatory system of substantive background checks for persons engaging in child-related work, whereby criminal history, professional conduct as well as any allegations against a person are thoroughly checked and regularly updated.
ARC appeals to the public to take a more vigilant stand to protect children from violence, abuse and exploitation and urges the community to get involved by reporting cases, or any suspicions, to the Child Helpline 1412 or Police Helpline 3000600. ARC reiterates its commitment to continue its efforts to work with relevant stakeholders in safeguarding the rights of all Maldivian children.