President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih has today established the “Presidential Commission to Inquire into Child Rights Violations”, as per Presidential Decree 1/2020.
President Solih established the Commission under the powers vested in him stipulated in article 115, to safeguard and ensure the protection of child rights and to expedite systematic efforts of rectification.
The Commission is tasked with probing the actions and assessing the current situation of all cases handled by all state parties and institutions mandated to protect children from harm. This will include all cases of violence, neglect, abuse and cruelty against children. The Committee is also mandated to identify and analyse the root causes of all forms of violations against children, including motives, where it happens, age groups of perpetrators, socio-economic factors, crime rates, susceptibility to violence, current situation of victims and accountability of state institutions in undertaking their responsibility.
The purpose of establishing this Presidential Commission is to examine and recommend appropriate remedial measures to rectify systematic failures, placing instruments of ensuring protection for children, thus enabling authorities to take action against perpetrators who mistreat, neglect, violate, abuse and exploit children. In addition, the Commission will gather information, analyse and report on all infringements on all child rights guaranteed by the law and seek avenues to convict perpetrators.
President Solih appointed the following five members to the Commission:
1. Dr Aafiya Ali – President of the Commission
2. Dr Abdul Malik
3. Uz Abdulla Rabiu
4. Uza Maziya Abdul Sattar
5. Mr Nicholas Richard Cowdery
Mr Nicholas Richard Cowdery is an outspoken expert in the field of human rights and law. He previously served as Director of Public Prosecutions in New South Wales, Australia from 1994 to 2011 and is the co-chair of the Human Rights Institute. Cowdery was appointed a Member of the Order of Australia in June 2003 and an Officer of the Order in June 2019 in recognition of his distinguished service to the law, to the protection of human rights, to professional legal bodies, and to the community.
The Commission established today, will analyse and prepare a comprehensive assessment of findings into child rights infringements and submit their detailed report to the President. The report will consist of legal safeguards provided by or under any law for the protection of child rights and recommended measures for effective implementation.
The Child Rights Protection Act ratified by President Solih on 20th November 2019 came into force today. The reconstituted Child Rights Protection Act outlines the rights and responsibilities for children, duties of the State, community and parents to protect such rights seeks to reduce disparities between the previous law and international child protection laws and standards.
The bill includes several amendments and new additions to protect children from discrimination, bias, harm, cruel punishment, neglect and physical and emotional abuse. The bill also includes provisions such as the right to education, right to health care and special provisions to protect the rights of children with special needs.