First Lady Fazna inaugurates FAM’s Child Safeguarding Policy

First Lady Fazna Ahmed inaugurates FAM's Child Safeguarding Policy. | Photo: President's Office

Male’, Maldives – First Lady Fazna Ahmed this Saturday inaugurated the Child Safeguarding Policy for football, initiated by the Football Association of Maldives (FAM).

At the ceremony, First Lady Fazna reiterated the importance of safeguarding children and acknowledged the role of FAM, Advocating the Rights of Children (ARC), and other supporting organizations for implementing policies that recognize such roles.

Noting the inclusion of children in the formulating process of the policy and she expressed her belief that it is crucial for children to be involved in decision-making processes that concern their health and safety.

The launch of FAM’s child safeguarding policy is described by onlookers as a joyous milestone for child protection in the Maldives, and a significant step forward, following the recent ratification of the Child Rights Protection Act and the Juvenile Justice Act.

First Lady Fazna Ahmed

Emphasizing the safeguarding of young children as being a duty shared by all, to ensure that children are kept safe from experiencing harmful situations or traumatic events, First Lady Fazna underscored the importance of an effective child safeguarding system within sports.

She stated that, for example, this present policy would shield young children in sports from potential mental, physical or emotional trauma, while at the same time providing guidance for coaches and sports management in best practices and how to seek further help as well.

First Lady Fazna then called on other sports organizations to follow FAM’s lead in creating similar policies that would serve to safeguard young children. She said that everyone in the field must endeavor to gain the trust of children by developing sports as an inclusive environment where children feel safe and empowered.

The first lady also urged FAM to ensure that they continue to further strengthen their policy and to be attentive to the day-to-day active implementation of the policy guidelines.

The Child Safeguarding Policy of FAM was formulated jointly by FAM and ARC, with the support of the United Nation’s Children’s Fund (UNICEF)’s chapter in the Maldives and relevant state agencies.

It aims to ensure a safe environment for children involved in football by cultivating a culture of respect and zero-tolerance towards any form of violence, abuse, neglect, harassment, or bullying.