Juvenile detention center to be completed by end of 2021

The Minister of Home Affairs, Imran Abdullah | Photo: Majlis

Malé, Maldives – Minister of Home Affairs Imran Abdulla, today, said that the Maldives will complete the establishment of a juvenile detention center by the end of this year.

The Human Rights Commission of Maldives (HRCM) ordered the Maldives Correctional Service (MCS) to remove all juvenile detainees from the prison by 24 October 2021 due to detainees not receiving the rights and protections guaranteed under the Maldivian legislature and international treaties.

The Child Rights Protection Act and the Bill on Juvenile Justice was ratified in November 2019 outlining the rights of children and adolescents coming in conflict with the law, or immersed in cycles of violence, juvenile delinquency and means to prevent juvenile delinquencies. It also prescribes a swift resolution to allow reforming juvenile delinquents into productive members of society through rehabilitative facilities.

While Home Minister Imran said that a detention center for juvenile offenders will be established by the end of 2021, he stated that detention of minors will only be exercised as a last resort and there are programs planned in order to prevent juveniles from committing crimes. Minister Imran further stated that the government is exploring avenues regarding juvenile crimes with international bodies and relevant authorities.

The laws regarding juvenile justice also stipulates the establishment of a Department of Juvenile Justice; a specialised police department to address juvenile delinquencies; designated State Prosecutors for children; a particular unit of probation and correctional officers; a juvenile diversion programme; rehabilitation programmes; and residential facilities and correctional centres.