Minister of Gender, Family and Social Services revealed on Saturday that the situation of 20 minors living in Maduvvari, Raa Atoll, were assessed as part of the 'Asseyri' operation currently being conducted in the island by security forces.
Representatives of the ministry visited nine residences, spoke to the minors' families and took steps towards ensuring that the children's rights were protected.
The ministry revealed that through such efforts, four children were vaccinated with their families' cooperation.
According to the ministry, one minor was found in a home that could not ensure the child's protection. Therefore, the ministry will continue to monitor the child's family, as per the procedures in place, to guarantee a safe environment for the child.
The gender ministry assured that authorities will not allow any parties to violate child rights and endanger their mental and physical well-being. Furthermore, they assured that the ministry would monitor whether parents are carrying out the responsibilities bestowed upon them by the Child Rights Protection Act.
Maldives Police Services confirmed on Saturday that operation 'Asseyri', which commenced last Wednesday, is still in progress.
Speaking about the special operation, the Chief Superintendent of Police Mohamed Basheer, confirmed the widespread prevalence of radicalization and extremism in the island. He highlighted that radicalized individuals in the community consider Maldives a “land of sin”, and added that they believe those that do not subscribe to their extremist views to be "infidels whose life and property could be rightfully seized".
Basheer further revealed that individuals with extremist views illegally 'wed' underage girls out of court, believing that sexual relations with them are permissible.
Groups of radicalized individuals on the island were, for several years till date, praying in a separate congregation. Such groups have reportedly invited people from other islands and run training programmes to recruit individuals to terrorist organizations. Some of these radicalized individuals purportedly left the country to fight in the Syrian conflict, while some were apprehended at the airport attempting to travel to the warzone.
The security services, last Monday, revealed details about the extent of religious extremism in Maldives for the first time. A total of 173 individuals have travelled to Syria for to fight in the conflict, while 432 have reportedly attempted to travel to Syria. Authorities also raised concerns over the high incidence of radicalization in the past 12 years, estimating there were 1,400 radicalized individuals subscribing to violent extremist ideology.