Situation of children in the Maldives
Facts and figures
Over the past few decades, the Maldives has transformed itself. In the early 1980s, the small island nation was one of the world’s poorest; today, the Maldives is a middle-income country with a rapidly expanding tourism industry. The Maldives was the first in South Asia to achieve five of eight Millennium Development Goals before 2015 – making it the first “MDG plus” country in the region. And in just 40 years, the average lifespan shot from 47 to 77 years of age, while the number of children enrolled in primary school rose by nearly 80 percent.
Over 96 percent of children are enrolled in primary school
Maternal mortality has decreased 90 percent in just 20 years
Only 1.6 percent of children at the lower secondary level are not studying
98 percent of youth are literate in Dhivehi and 96 percent are literate in English
Despite these successes, a number of challenges continue to face the children of the Maldives, impacting their ability to live full, healthy lives.
Approximately 10,000 children in the Maldives are living in poverty
75 percent of unemployed Maldivians are young people
1 in 5 children are stunted
One in three secondary school girls have experienced sexual abuse
Gang violence is on the rise, especially among adolescents: there are between 20 to 30 gangs in the capital city, with 50 to 400 members in each group
Only 45 percent of adolescents transition into higher secondary education (grades 11 and 12)
22 percent of grade one students are overweight or obese
Nearly 50 percent of drug users are between the ages of 15 and 25