The Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children calls on Foreign Minister Shahid

10 March 2020

The Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary-General on Violence Against Children (SRSG/VAC), Dr. Najat Maalla M’jid, paid a courtesy call on the Minister of Foreign Affairs, His Excellency Abdulla Shahid, at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs this afternoon.During the call, Minister Shahid thanked the Special Representative for conducting a timely visit to the Maldives, as the Government of Maldives is undertaking several efforts to create a more enabling environment to report crimes and ensure the swift delivery of justice.  

Minister Shahid briefed the Special Representative on achievements and initiatives in the field of protecting the rights of children, as outlined in the reform agenda of the Government of President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih. He assured the Special Representative of the Government’s commitment to protect child rights while acknowledging the challenges that lie ahead in implementing policies. The Special Representative said that the Government’s ratification of the Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child on a communications procedure, and the ratification of the Child Rights Protection Act and the Juvenile Justice Act were clear demonstrations of the political will for positive change.Minister Shahid further stated that the Government had reaffirmed the standing invitation to all Special Procedures Mandate Holders of the of the Human Rights Council, and said that the Government will implement all recommendations in line with national laws and policies.

The Special Representative praised the strong political and social mobilization of the Maldives to protect child rights, and reassured Minister Shahid of the UN’s support to build on the Government’s achievements and address capacity constraints.The Special Representative was accompanied by the United Nations Resident Coordinator to the Maldives, Ms. Catherine Haswell, the UNICEF Representative to the Maldives, Dr. Munir Salfieldin, and the United Nations Senior Advisor, Mr. Andrew Henry Claypole. Minister Shahid was accompanied by the Foreign Secretary, His Excellency Abdul Ghafoor Mohamed, and Assistant Director, Mr. Ahmed Salman Zaki.