President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has said that the Administration will protect the constitutional rights of every citizen without any form of bias, prejudice or discrimination. President Solih made the statement this morning at a special function held on the occasion of the International Human Rights Day 2019.

Noting that ensuring a dignified life for every citizen is among the Administration’s main pledges, the President said that the administration gives the highest precedence to the improvement of living conditions through which the people may experience the true meaning of living a dignified life and that this can only be accomplished through preserving their rights and freedoms.

Speaking on the obstacles faced by journalists and media in operating freely, President Solih highlighted that the administration, within the first 100 days, had repealed the anti-defamation law and ensured that the media is once again granted freedom of press, expression and speech. He also noted that the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) had been unable to fully realize its mandate in past years, and affirmed that the government, through the introduction of new organisations, policies and amendments to existing systems, is determined to support the HRCM to operate independently to fulfil its mandate.

President Solih also emphasized on the various efforts of the government to empower women, including the protection of the rights of women and providing better opportunities for women within the first year of his administration. This includes the appointment of female Justices to the Supreme court for the first time in the nation’s history, allocating one-third of local council representation for women and extending maternity leave to 6 months.

Emphasizing on the importance of raising happy and healthy children within the society, the President noted the administration’s efforts towards ensuring every child is vaccinated. He further highlighted one of the key projects initiated, Naasthaa (breakfast) programme, which has already shown extremely positive results in promoting a healthy lifestyle for school children. President Solih said that the government will not tolerate any infringement of children’s rights and that the administration is working towards creating safer living conditions for all children within the country. President Solih stated that the recently signed Child Rights Protection Law and Juvenile Justice Law is an important step towards this goal.

President Solih said that it is most crucial for all members of society to recognize how imperative individual responsibilities and contributions are in the protection of human rights. He also assured that the government would continue to work towards finding solutions to eliminate substance abuse through perceptive guidance and support systems, and further urged all youth in the country to recognise the significance of the role they play in ensuring the protection of human rights in society and advised them to rise to the challenge of protecting the rights of the Maldivian people for generations to come.