VP underscores the importance of strengthening restorative justice


Ahmed Nishwan

Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed has underscored the importance of strengthening primary protection, and restorative justice that focuses on rehabilitating offenders back into society rather than punishing them, in dealing with juvenile offenders.

Expressing concern over the high incidence of violence against children in the Maldives, Vice President Dr Waheed also appealed for a concerted effort to eliminate violence against children and protect the rights of children.

In his concluding remarks at the national conference on working together for the protection of children, the Vice President noted the lack of coordination between concerned agencies in working to protect children.

However, he welcomed the declaration of the conference which decides to form a stakeholder working group to coordinate and oversee the child protection efforts in the country.

The Vice President highlighted the areas that require more attention in order to protect children.

Increasing public awareness on the causes and effects of violence against children and the rights of children, he identified, as the foremost task for all agencies working for the protection of children.

In addition, the Vice President spoke on the importance of reaching out to families with violence victims and vulnerable children, highlighting the role of social workers in a comprehensive child protection system.

At yesterday afternoon’s closing session of the conference, the Vice President launched the Social Workers’ Code of Conduct.

The two-day conference held at Bandos Island Resort and Spa was jointly organized by the Department of Gender and Family Protection Service and UNICEF.

Vice President calls for a concerted effort to curb street violence : Miadhu News

Referring to the recent incidents of gang fights and street violence in Malé, Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed has called for a concerted effort to curb street violence and make Malé and other islands safe for all.

He made the call in his remarks at a ceremony held at Hulhumalé Hospital this afternoon to inaugurate the new intensive care unit (ICU) established at the hospital.

Dr Waheed noted that a number of patients who require intensive critical care were those injured in street violence and other gang-linked fights.

Speaking on the government’s efforts to contain and reduce violence on the streets, he highlighted the work he was doing in his capacity as the Vice President and in the cabinet sub committee on the issue.

In this regard, he underscored the need to keep criminals and convicts in detention to reduce violence and gang fights, and said significant improvements have been made to prisons to increase security and space.

ICU at Hulhumalé Hospital was established with the assistance from the government of Pakistan.

In his remarks, the Vice President also highlighted the need to provide essential and emergency care for critically ill patients and said the service would reduce the number patients who were referred to Malé from Hulhumalé for critical care.

Reference: Miadhu News

Democracy consolidation must be guided by the vision of the society we desire for our children – Vice President Dr Waheed

Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed has said upholding democracy could not be left only to the forces of economic and political interests.

But rather, he said, consolidation of democracy in the Maldives “must be guided by the vision of the society we desire for our children.”

He made the remarks speaking at the seminar on “Democracy, Enterprise Building, Strengthening of Civil Society and Contributions of Expatriate Bangladeshi Workers in the Maldives” organised by the High Commission of Bangladesh in the Maldives.

Noting that democracy was not same in every society, the Vice President said:

“The kind of democracy we will have depends on the quality of our engagement in the democratic process.”

Speaking in this regard, Dr Waheed underscored the importance of civil society engagement in the democratic process to balance competition and profit maximisation with values of caring and peaceful coexistence in the society.

He said the contribution of civil society organisations to the democratic process is important to inform and enrich the formation of democratic structures with social development and humanistic values.

However, the Dr Waheed noted “our civil society organizations are weak…Their ability to influence public policy is weak, if not nonexistent.

“NGOs do not lobby for positions to change legislations or to influence public policy”, added the Vice President.

He said the government and international development partners should assist Maldivian civil society organisations to build capacity and become independent.

He further said “lessons from Bangladesh will be most helpful in this regard.”

In addition to Vice President Dr Waheed, Special Envoy of the President Ibrahim Hussain Zaki also spoke at the seminar.

Special Envoy Zaki said the Maldives and Bangladesh share a historical, cultural and strong bilateral relations and similar ideological outlook.

He emphasized the immense contributions made by the Bangladesh to the socioeconomic development of the Maldives.

Mr Zaki said the expatriate workers including a large number of Bangladeshi workers in the Maldives play a vital role in the successful delivery of government’s pledges.

The Special Envoy of the President noted the need to strengthen labour laws and protect the rights of expatriate workers in the Maldives, not only in the workplace, but also outside.

Number of local NGOs and government authorities participated in the Seminar held at Holiday Inn, Male’ this morning.

Vice President says Bangladeshi’s working in the Maldives can strengthen cultural links between both countries

Vice President Dr Mohamed Waheed has said Bangladeshi’s working in the Maldives could play an important role in strengthening the cultural links between the Maldives and Bangladesh.

Speaking at a forum on ‘Historical Links between Bangladesh and the Maldives’ organised by the Bangladesh High Commission in the Maldives, Vice President Dr Waheed said the Maldives have many Bangladeshi workers and until now we have been focusing on their input to the economy. But, he said, both the countries should use them to appreciate the cultural and human dimensions of Bangladesh’s rich culture.

In his remarks, the Vice President noted the historic economic and trade relations between the Maldives and Bangladesh. He said it was important for both countries to re-establish the trade links as well as widen the relationship into new areas.

In this regard, he said that the Maldives could benefit from Bangladeshi expertise in developing and strengthening civil society. He noted that Bangladesh had one of the most developed civil society movements.

Today’s forum marked the beginning of the cultural exchange programmes organised by Bangladesh High Commission in the Maldives.

Swiss Ambassador says Farewell

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Swiss Ambassador to the Maldives Mrs. Ruth Flint paid her farewell call on the President and Vice President Waheed today.

During the call, which took place at the President’s Office this afternoon, the President expressed his appreciation for the Ambassador’s contribution to strengthen the friendly ties that exist between the Maldives and Switzerland.

The President and the Ambassador also discussed regional issues, human rights as well as bilateral ties.