The recently ratified law on child rights, came into effect on Thursday.
Attorney General Ibrahim Riffath noted that the Child Rights Protection Act introduces a system where individuals that are negligent in child related case are held responsible, as well as to stop child abuse.
He added that protecting the rights of children is important for the country’s future.
The Child Rights Protection Act was approved by the People’s Majlis on 14th November 2019, and President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih signed the bill into law six days later.
The reconstituted Child Rights Protection Act outlines the rights and responsibilities for children; and duties of the State, community and parents to protect such rights; and seeks to reduce disparities between the previous law and international child protection laws and standards.
The bill includes several amendments and new additions to protect children from discrimination, bias, harm, cruel punishment, neglect and physical and emotional abuse. The bill also includes provisions such as the right to education, right to health care, and special provisions to protect the rights of children with special needs.
It also stipulates the constitution of a Child Rights Protection Council, Child and Family Protection Service and the appointment of a Children’s Ombudsperson. The bill further raises the legal age of consent for marriage to 18 years, while protecting children below the age of 15 against all regular judicial punishments.
While the Child Rights Protection Act takes effect today, there have recently been an increase in child sexual cases reported to the police.