Dr. Waheed writes:
Since 1991, when the Law on the Rights of Children was passed, crimes among children under 18 have skyrocketed. There are reasons to believe that this increase is not a mere coincidence and that the law is at least partially responsible for the rising trend of juvenile delinquency. Why then did the Maldives pass such a law and what have been its effects on criminal activity among children?
Maldives probably passed the law under pressure from international organizations. What gives credence to this belief is that the country was not institutionally ready then or even now to implement some key provisions of the law. For example, Article 9 of the Law requires a separate juvenile justice system to deal with children who break the law (See below). Similarly Article 8 requires rehabilitative services for children who misbehave on the streets and public places. In 1991 the state had neither the physical facilities nor the human resources to implement these 2 Articles. In fact after more than 17 years, even today it doesn’t have.
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