President Abdulla Yameen has decided to take action against state-employed parents or guardians of children and people with special needs placed under state care, who have refused to take them back after successful completion of the state programmes.
The President’s Office on Tuesday released an executive order which states that employees of state institutions and state-owned enterprises who are parents and guardians of children that are placed under state care at the children's shelters of ‘Kudakudhinge Hiya’ and ‘Fiyavathi’, and parents and legal guardians of people with special needs placed under care at the institute in Guraidhoo in Kaafu atoll, who refuse to take them back once they have completed their programmes, will be implicated.
According to the President’s Office, a guideline to implement the president’s decision has been enacted and sent to the Ministry of Gender and Family and Ministry of Health for enforcement.
The guidelines sent to the ministries state that each case should be examined separately on a case-by-case basis and that the employer should be consulted regarding action to be taken against the employee.
The guideline states that a sum of money will be deducted from such an employee’s salary. This money will then be transferred to a bank account under the name of the child or person with special needs placed under the state’s care.
Children under 18 years of age will only be able to access the funds after they turn 18, and if the person is already an adult, the utilisation of funds is up to that individual’s discretion.
The President’s Office also stated that if an employee fails to comply with the course of action, the employee will be terminated after ensuring that the legal procedure was followed.
The two guidelines have been enacted separately. The guideline on employment of parents or legal guardians of children placed under state care, employed at state institutions or state owned enterprises has been enacted pursuant to Article 35(a) of the Constitution, and Chapter 1 of the law 9/91 (Protection of the Rights of Children), whilst the guideline on employment of children or legal guardians of people with special needs under state care, employed at state institutions and state owned enterprises has been enacted pursuant to Article 35(b) of the Constitution of the Maldives and Section 57 of the law 4/2000 (Family Act).
As per the guidelines, private companies who wish to enforce the guidelines can do so as well.
According to the ministry, the purpose of the guidelines are to hold the people who neglect their children, parents or persons under their care with special needs accountable for their actions and to encourage them to be more responsible towards their duties.