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Optional protocolon the involvement of children in armed conflict, on the Sale of Children, Child Prostitution and Child Pornography
Corporal punishmentCorporal Punishment is legal in the home, alternative care settings, day care, schools, penal institutions and as a sentence for crime.
Overview of the child rights situation

The overall situation in the Maldives is rather poor for children's rights. Children are sentenced to death, there is a great religious intolerance and girls experience great oppression due to the patriarchal system, rape is not punished and only for special reasons abortions are allowed. There is no information on health care in the report.

Female genital mutilation and reproductive rights

The Committee is concerned that abortion requires the consent of the spouse and is permitted only in a few cases as well as that there is no universal access to reproductive health-care services, and unmarried girls face difficulties due to the social condemnation and criminalization of out-of-wedlock pregnancy, which increasingly leads to illegal and unsafe abortions, putting the lives and health of adolescent mothers at great risk.
To improve the situation, the Committee recommends to adopt a comprehensive sexual and reproductive health policy for adolescents and ensure that sexual and reproductive health education is part of the mandatory school curriculum and targeted at adolescent girls and boys, with special attention given to preventing early pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections. Furthermore, the Committee recommends that the Maldives decriminalize abortions in all circumstances and review its legislation with a view to ensuring children’s access to safe abortion and post-abortion care services, including by removing the provision for spousal consent, and ensure that the views of the pregnant girl are always heard and respected in abortion decisions.

Situation of children with disabilities

The Committee remains concerned about the stigmatization of children with disabilities, the absence of disaggregated data on children with disabilities, and their lack of access to health services. Therefore, the Committee urges the State party to adopt a human-rights-based approach to disability, set up a comprehensive strategy, based on disaggregated statistical data, for the inclusion of children with disabilities and ensure that all children with disabilities are included in the disability registry and remove any existing financial or other obstacles to such registration. Maldives should also strengthen its efforts to implement the inclusive education policy and ensure that inclusive education is given priority over the placement of children in specialized institutions and classes as well as strengthen its efforts to ensure that children with disabilities have access to health care, including early detection and intervention programmes.

Free kindergartenYes
Free primary and secondary schoolYes
Digital possibilitiesWhile noting that most children between 14 and 18 years of age in the State party have access to the Internet and that the State party has recently started to conduct awareness-raising activities on cyberbullying and Internet safety for children and their parents, the Committee is concerned that these measures have been insufficient to ensure that children are not exposed to age-inappropriate information and pornography and to cyberbullying. Nevertheless, the Committee recommends that the State party further improve children’s access to appropriate information from a diversity of sources, especially those aimed at the promotion of the child’s social, spiritual and moral well- being and physical and mental health, and strengthen awareness programmes for children, as well as parents and teachers, on safety on the Internet and addressing, inter alia, the issues of pornography and cyberbullying.
Relation to other countries
mental health

According to a 2006 nationwide study, 66 per cent of children and adolescents in the State party suffered from issues related to mental health and, according to a 2009 survey, 22.2 per cent of students in the State party had made a plan for attempting suicide during the 12 months preceding the survey, but no specialized mental health services for children and adolescents have been established in the State party to date. To improve the situation, the Committee recommends to provide specialized mental health facilities and services for children and adolescents.

Business sector

The Committee is concerned that, while tourism constitutes the main pillar of the State party’s economy, and child prostitution is reported to take place in the tourist environment of beaches, safari boats and guesthouses, the State party has not yet adopted measures to protect children from violations of their rights that may arise from tourism activities, especially child sex tourism.
The Committee recommends that the State party examine and adapt its legislative framework to ensure the legal accountability of business enterprises and their subsidiaries operating in or managed from the State party’s territory, especially in the tourism industry, and undertake awareness-raising campaigns with the tourism industry and the public at large on the prevention of child sex tourism.

Situation of juvenile justice

The Committee is gravely concerned that the Juvenile Court sentenced five children to death in three separate cases (one case in 2013 and two cases in 2015).
The Committee further urges the State party to bring its juvenile justice system fully into line with the Convention and other relevant standards. In particular, the Committee urges the State party to adopt without further delay the Juvenile Justice Act, ensuring that its provisions fully comply with the provisions and principles of the Convention, as well as other international standards on the administration of juvenile justice, including hearing of the child during criminal proceedings. Maldives should also abolish flogging as a sentence for crime and ensure that children are not detained together with adults and that detention conditions are compliant with international standards, including with regard to access to education and health services. Also, the Committee urges the State party to expeditiously establish throughout its territory specialized juvenile court facilities and procedures with adequate human, technical and financial resources, designate specialized judges for children and ensure that such specialized judges receive appropriate education and training.

Specific observations

The Committee is concerned that customary and religious interpretations of the best interests of the child that are not in conformity with the Convention prevail in the State party and lead to serious violations of children’s rights. The Committee notes with serious concern that the non-reporting of child sexual abuse is considered as preserving the so-called “honour” of the child and therefore serving his or her best interests.
The Committee is seriously concerned about reports of religious intolerance towards non-Muslims and non-believers, and the general impunity enjoyed by those who commit violence against adults and children promoting religious tolerance. The Committee is also concerned about reports that religious extremism is on the rise in the State party and that it has a severe impact on the rights of children to freedom of thought, conscience and religion.

Additional background

Concluding observations on the fourth and fifth periodic reports released on 14 March 2016. The Committee encourages the State party to consider withdrawing its reservations to articles 14 (1) and 21 of the Convention. More information about education on Maldives: and

Last Updated (date)22nd of February, 2022