Third Committee

Agenda Item 68: Rights of Children

Intervention by the Republic of Maldives to the Report by the Special Representative of the Secretary General on Violence Against Children, Ms. Marta Santos Pais

Statement by Ms. Farzana Zahir, Joint Secretary, Ministry of Foreign Affairs

United Nations, New York, 14 October 2015

Thank you Distinguished Chairperson,

My delegation would like to welcome the presentations made by Special Representatives of the Secretary General. We would also like to extend a special thanks to the Special Representative for her continued engagement with the Maldives.

The issues concerning the safety and security of children hold high priority for the Maldives. A number of measures have been taken to end violence against children. More recent initiatives include the enactment of the Sexual Harassment and Abuse Prevention Act and the Sexual Offences Act which strengthen the legal framework to protect women, children, and migrants from violence and sexual abuse. The National Action Plan to Combat Trafficking in Persons for 2015-2019 has been finalized. With the approval of the Parliament, the Maldives is now at the final stages of completing its formalities to accede to the Optional Protocol to prevent, suppress and punish trafficking in persons, especially women and children.

I note with deep concern that while the emerging issue of children affected by armed violence is identified as the focus for 2015, we now see a refugee crisis at hand, where thousands of men, women and children are fleeing from unsafe environments due to extreme violence and conflict. It is therefore important that we identify, during this discussion, appropriate measures Governments could take to provide adequate protection to those children fleeing from conflict.

Thank you.