On 1st September, “Project Guardian” was launched by the Maldives Police Service, a project relevant to the police’s responsibility in ending all forms of violence against women and children. It was inaugurated by First Lady Fazna Ahmed, along with another initiative by Maldives Police, “Maldives Women in Policing”, regarding enhancing the role of women in policing.
The police, being at the forefront of law-enforcement, are responsible for seizing on these developments, to effectively address the issue, the First Lady remarked. Acknowledging the reporting barriers created by the Maldives’ dispersed geography, consisting of small island communities, she advocated that these could be overcome by solutions such as neighbourhood policing and involving volunteers from each community, such as teachers and health workers, to whom victims may more easily turn to, to report abuse and seek assistance.
Welcoming the MPS’ recent creation of a unit dedicated exclusively to investigating abuse against children, she expressed her confidence that the police force increasingly understands why technical expertise and adherence to best practices are required when gathering evidence and building cases against abusers.
According to crime statistics by Maldives Police Service, domestic violence cases reported so far this year is 166 cases. It is hoped that the initiatives launched will progress the country in the direction of gender equality and justice for women and children.