ARC condemns the killing of a 14 year old and calls for stronger steps to be taken for the protection of children

ARC is deeply saddened by, and strongly condemns the brutal killing of a 14-year old schoolboy on the streets of Male; and offers heartfelt condolences to family and friends of Late Ismail Shaffan Shareef, the minor who was murdered last night. Ongoing violent incidents against children must end immediately, with the perpetrators of such incidents brought to justice promptly.

ARC urges for stronger steps by the State and all stakeholders to ensure the safety of every child and reiterates its offer to work with all relevant Government authorities and other stakeholders, for the protection of children both at schools and within the community.

ARC remains extremely concerned about the alarming increase of violence against children, and the increasing severity of such cases including several resulting in fatalities. ARC therefore emphasizes the urgency to address the legal gaps in the child protection system in the Maldives and reiterates its repeated calls to expedite the adoption of the Child Protection Bill, now in the committee stage of the Parliament.

Such gaps pose serious challenges for the child protection system in the Maldives, while also hindering the due processes against those who perpetrate violence against children. It is also important to incorporate the State’s international obligations and commitments relating to rights of the child into domestic law and to introduce procedures and standards that aim to safeguard the rights of children.