Voice of Children (“VOC”) is a movement calling for the protection of children and to implement swift action on child-related issues and the injustices faced by children. Founded on the 17th of January 2020, after the gruesome events against a two-year-old of sexual violence committed in Kanduhulhudhoo, Gaafu Alif Atoll, Republic of Maldives.
Since then, the former Gender Minister Ms. Shidhatha Shareef has resigned amid pressure from the parliament as well as public outcry regarding failure to implement swift action towards child abuse and sexual violence. On the 9th of February 2020, President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has appointed Ms. Aishath Mohamed Didi as Minister of Gender, Family and Social Services. VOC will continue to call upon all relevant authorities to investigate all heinous offenses against children. We demand action to be taken against all the people whose negligence had and is compromising the safety of all children.
In line with this philosophy, on behalf of VOC and all who supported our petition, we have submitted our petition to the Parliament President Mohamed Nasheed at 12:00 PM 11th February 2020. Our petition was be endorsed by Mohamed Rasheed; MP for the Machangolhi North constituency. The petition highlights that both the government and society have failed to take adequate steps to ensure the safety and wellbeing of children especially survivors of abuse. In this petition, we call upon all respective authorities to take “immediate action”. Focusing mainly on six key appeals which include reforming the corresponding laws and to strengthen the system by methods of monitoring offenders and also safeguarding the at-risk children. Further appealing to conduct various awareness programs to educate the public in these matters. The petition is also calling for the investigation and dismissal of Eanaz Adam, the president of the Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM)
along with its current board member who has failed to protect the Children. VOC is also urging the Parliament to launch an investigation into the police’s head of Family and Child Protection Unit, Superintendent Hassan Haneef, as well as Assistant Police Commissioner Mohamed Riyaz.
Voice of Children will be closely monitoring the progress of this motion and will be coordinating with the Peoples Majilis on any assistance that they require.