Advocating the Rights of Children (ARC) has today commenced a sensitization programme on child rights and protection for officers of Maldives Correctional Service who deal with children in conflict with the law. This programme, conducted in partnership with Maldives Correctional Service and UNICEF, was inaugurated with a virtual opening ceremony held this afternoon.
The 4day programme comprising over 35 correctional officers from Male’, Maafushi and Himmafushi prisons is aimed at increasing awareness on the newly enacted Child Rights Protection Act and Juvenile Justice Act as well as sensitizing correctional officers on relevant rules and regulations in dealing with children in conflict with the law. The programme consists of components such as Human Rights and Child Rights; Guiding Principles on Child Protection; Rehabilitation; Diversion and Restorative Justice; Communication and Conflict Resolution; and Psychosocial Support.
Speaking at the opening ceremony, ARC’s Executive Director Zeena Zahid stated that proper implementation of the new procedures set out by the reconstituted Child Rights Protection Act and Juvenile Justice Act will help further strengthen the child protection system of the country. In his remarks, Commissioner of Prisons Ahmed Mohamed Fulhu highlighted that Prison Reform is a priority of the Government and noted the importance of efforts to ensure that procedural guidelines are in line with the new Acts. Further, UNICEF Country Representative Dr Munir Safieldin emphasized the importance for correctional officers to understand the changes brought to their mission and mandate by the news Acts, as they have an extremely important role to play in shaping the lives of children in conflict with the law.
The sessions of this programme will be facilitated by ARC, UNICEF, Maldives Correctional Service, Maldives Police Service, Juvenile Justice Unit and Thibaa Psychology. ARC wishes to thank its partners for their support and reaffirms its commitment to protect and promote the rights of children throughout the country.