Minivan News report:
A march against child abuse united around 500 parents, politicians, NGOs and young people in the capital Male’ on Saturday, while a separate march was held in Haa Alifu atoll Hoarafushi the day before.
The rallies were organised independently of each other by local NGOs and civilians, galvanised to take action following cases of child abuse on each of the islands over the past few weeks.
Speaking to Minivan News, Mohamed Shihab from Child Abuse Watch Maldives, which helped organise the rally in Male’ said, “For me, the most important thing was to make this a civil rights movement and not a political issue.
“We were very specific to not involve political parties in the frontline… This is not a partisan activity. It is civil society working for children of the country.”
According to Fathimath Thanzeela (Thanzy), a member of community organisation NOOR, which also helped organise the rally, people were moved to act in Male’ following the death of an eight-month old baby boy on 12 June.
The baby died in the intensive care unit of Indira Gandhi Memorial Hospital (IGMH) after being severely beaten by his mother and her boyfriend, and showed signs of having been sexually abused.
Read the full report here