Public Advocacy and Partnerships for Children's Rights
The Maldives has begun to lay the foundation for fulfilling children’s rights through current and proposed legislation in Parliament, with several new child-related polices under development (Disability Act, Evidence Act, Education Act). Still, children’s rights are not yet fully met and coordination, referral and case monitoring functions among government social service providers and community based organisations require additional effort.
UNICEF has continued to advocate for human rights and responsible freedom of expression for children and youth in the Maldives, in part by providing support to the newly formed Human Rights Commission, as well as by providing training on objective, human-rights based reporting to journalists in the Maldives. The participation of the Human Rights Commission at the May session of the Committee for the Rights of the Child (CRC) contributed to a large and high-level delegation from the Maldives at their combined second and third reporting session in front of the CRC Committee. The Maldives’ periodic reports and its reply to the Committee’s initial List of Issues were complemented by very frank and transparent discussions at the CRC session. The willingness of the Government to openly and constructively discuss the challenges affecting children was extremely appreciated by the Committee. The concluding observations will become a central programmatic document that will be used to inform the 2008-2010 Country Programme.
With the recent launch of MaldivInfo - the National database for measuring progress towards the MDGs- the Maldives has made great strides in publishing and disemminating national data on key development indicators. The database - accessible publically at www.maldivinfo.planning.gov.mv - is the first time data has been consolidated into one place and distributed so widely to policymakers, media and the general public. MaldivInfo will contribute to better evidence-based planning and policy making, and will ultimately be used to measure progress towards the 7th National Development Plan.