World Children’s Day 2023

This #WorldChildrensDay, UNICEF is calling on governments, the private sector, partners, and communities to take action for the rights of every child, everywhere.

20 November 2023
Vaavu Keyodhoo School

MALE’/MALDIVES, 20 November 2023 Today is World Children’s Day, a day to celebrate progress and recommit to the unfinished business of providing every child everywhere in Maldives, and globally, with an opportunity to survive develop and achieve their full potential. It is UNICEF’s annual day of action for children, marking the adoption of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Over the past 40 years, Maldives has made significant progress in advancing the rights of children, notably achievement of universal primary education by the year 2000, decrease of child mortality from 48 to 9 per 1000 live births, enactment of critical legal instruments such as the Child Rights Protection Act and the Juvenile Justice Act (2019) and the Education Act (2020) and enhanced coverage of social protection schemes for the most vulnerable.

Despite these successes, the children of Maldives continue to face several challenges impacting their ability to thrive and reach their full potential.

  • Violence against children remains a key concern, with over 1000 cases on average being reported annually.
  • The transition from secondary to upper secondary education is only 37 percent with more boys dropping out of school.
  • The mental health of children and young people is an increasing concern with limited availability of support services at the community level.
  • As a Small Island Developing State (SIDS), Maldives remains at the forefront of the climate crisis, with extreme weather events impacting children’s lives.
  • With the decline of maternal and child health indicators, the country is facing the triple burden of malnutrition and childhood overweight/obesity and micronutrient deficiency.
  • While 8 percent of the Maldives’ total population is income-poor, 28 percent are multidimensionally poor, particularly in health and standards of living.

UNICEF is working to strengthen its strategies and programmes to address these issues. Today, we are working to accelerate child rights and human development in Maldives through our flagship programmes focusing on positive parenting, promoting good nutrition and health lifestyles, equipping young people with 21st century skills, and promoting their mental health and well-being, including addressing substance abuse, preventing and responding to violence against children and young people, promoting climate resilient actions and creating island-level mechanisms to link vulnerable families with social services.

UNICEF Maldives also reiterates its commitment to continue work with partners to accelerate actions for sustainable change in the lives of children and thereby create a child-friendly, resilient island for every child in Maldives.

This year, as we mark World Children’s Day, we must also remember that the world is continuing to fail millions of children, with wars and conflict robbing them of their lives and future. We take this opportunity to reiterate UNICEF’s call to world leaders to end the war in Gaza.

Every child deserves peace and an equal opportunity in life.

Media contacts

Aminath Jala Zuhury
Communication, Advocacy and Partnerships Specialist
UNICEF Maldives
Tel: +960 7927727


UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.

For more information about UNICEF and the work it supports in the Maldives, visit

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