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State seeks charge against 11 staff over abusing orphans at Kudakudhinge Hiya

Mariyam Malsa
25 November 2020, MVT 17:34
Protesters amid a demonstration held on the streets of Male' City, against all forms of sexual violence and to hold perpetrators and the authorities accountable, on June 29, 2020. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI / MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
25 November 2020, MVT 17:34

Presidential Commission to Inquire into Child Rights Violations, on Thursday, revealed ongoing efforts to press charges against 11 employees for physically and psychologically abusing children at 'Kudakudhinge Hiya' orphanage in 2017.

In a statement released by the presidential commission, it was revealed that the matter was initially reported to Maldives Police Service in July 2018.

Additionally, the commission disclosed that the Prosecutor General's Office had issued an order on October 11 to expedite the investigation and other processes which must be completed before officially pressing of charges.

As per the presidential commission, a team consisting of representatives from the police and the PG Office was formed to independently investigate the Kudakudhinge Hiya case. Statements were collected from a total of 24 individuals and five children in connection to the case.

Furthermore, the commission stated that a separate inquiry would be launched to ascertain whether relevant institutions were negligent throughout the process of reporting, investigation and the implementation of measures in connection to the case.

Established in February 2020, the Presidential Commission to Inquire into Child Rights Violations is tasked with investigating and assessing all institutions and state parties relevant to the protection of children. The commission is also mandated to identify the root cause of all violations against children, recommend reforms for systematic failures and compile a comprehensive report to be submitted to the President.

Efforts to charge the aforementioned individuals come amidst multiple reports of child sexual abuse, grooming and rape this year, with public outrage soaring over the government's meagre record of arresting and convicting perpetrators of sexual offences despite several promises to support the rights of children and women.

Meanwhile, Maldives Police Service continue to urge the public to report all such cases to the police's Family and Child Protection Wing at +960 3000600 or the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services at 1412.

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