(Photo Credit: Mauroof Khaleel (Maapu))
On this National Children’s Day ARC wishes to emphasize that through Universal Declaration of Human Rights, world leaders proclaimed that by virtue of their birth, every child is bestowed with certain inalienable rights, which is further elaborated in the Convention on the Rights of the Child, which Maldives is a party to.
ARC believes that today provides an opportune moment to reflect and redouble efforts to enhance government policy and existing mechanisms, to strengthen the child protection system in the Maldives. ARC therefore reiterates its call for the ratification of the Third Optional Protocol to CRC by the Maldives, as committed by the Government of Maldives in the past.
Furthermore, ARC calls upon the Government to adopt the new Child Protection Bill and Juvenile Justice Bill. ARC also believes that necessary amendments to the Family Act of 2000, including deletion of Article 4 (b) of the Family Act that allows marriages of 16 and 17 year-olds under certain conditions, must be signed into law urgently.
Let this day also be a reminder for everyone to combine efforts towards the protection of the rights of the child, and to help build a safe community that thrives on the happiness and wellbeing of children.