Press Release

Date: 1 February 2013

ARC notes with great concern that the facts surrounding the recent arbitrary detention of the 15 and 16 year old girl from Kudakudhinge Hiya still remain unclear, and that despite repeated attempts, ARC has been unsuccessful in obtaining from the authorities, the details of the current condition of these children. ARC therefore further reiterates its call on the Government and all stakeholders to exercise greater transparency regarding the arrest, detention and whereabouts of these children and also reiterate our call upon the Government to guarantee the safety and wellbeing of these minors.

As a state party to the Convention on the Rights of the Child, the Maldives is obligated under international law to ensure that no child is deprived of his or her liberty unlawfully or arbitrarily. ARC believes that detention of children for administrative convenience, without judicial oversight is extremely harmful for their welfare and urges all concerned authorities to ensure that in all actions concerning children, whether undertaken by administrative authorities, welfare institutions or courts of law, the best interests of the child should be a primary consideration.

ARC further reiterates its calls upon the Government and all relevant stakeholders to urgently review and strengthen the existing child protection measures in all state run institutions, including childrens shelters, as well as the juvenile justice system to ensure that it is not only framed by the rights of the child, but is also gender sensitive, non-intimidating and safeguards childrens access to justice.


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