Third Committee

Agenda Item 46: Rights of Children

Intervention by the Republic of Maldives to the Report of the Special Representative of the Secretary-General on violence against children, Ms. Marta Santos Pais

Statement by: Ms. Farzana Zahir, Joint Secretary

United Nations, New York, 12 October 2016

Thank you Madam Chair,

Let me thank the speakers for their detailed presentations and important work. In particular, my delegation would like to welcome the extensive work carried out by the Special Representative of the Secretary General on combating violence against children.

Children are our future. Nurturing them and ensuring their full potential not only brings social progress and prosperity. It is the only way we can bring real change. It is against this backdrop that the Maldives work with issues related to children. We give utmost importance to their development and safety.

In addition to a number of laws that address victims of violence, specific laws have been enacted to end violence against children and ensure their protection. Notably, the Domestic Violence Act, Child Sexual Offences Act and the Anti-trafficking of persons Act provide comprehensive protection of the law to all children from violence. We have also acceded to the Optional Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children. As a continuous effort to streamline and enhance our work, I am also pleased to note that Maldives is in the final stages of revamping the child rights law to streamline our domestic laws with the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Despite much progress and strengthening of the national legislative framework, as well as reporting and monitoring mechanisms, difficulties persist as we endlessly try to break the socio-cultural barriers and raise awareness to end practices that place children in vulnerable positions, exposing to violence.

As the Special Representative has alluded to in her report, due to the hidden and sensitive nature of violence against children, there are great difficulties in identifying and addressing these issues, in addition to collecting data. In this regard, my delegation would like to hear more from the Special Representative on the identified best practices and preventive strategies that can help to address violence in environments where children live.  Thank you.