Foreign Minister Abdullah Shahid says despite several setbacks in the past, the current Maldivian administration has persevered in its promotion and protection of human rights in the domestic sphere.

He made these comments in his address at the High-Level Segment of the 46th Session of the United Nations Human Rights Council.

Minister Shahid said that the Government has undertaken several steps to prevent human trafficking, reform prisons, and uphold the rule of law.

He noted the recent establishment of the Office of Ombudsperson for Transitional Justice, which has provided an avenue to redress past injustices to promote the rule of law.

Minister Shahid said that the Maldives remains resolute in its efforts to ensure the protection and empowerment of women, children, and persons with disabilities.

He said that the country has continued to promote equal professional growth for women in the workforce free from prejudice, and launched a nation-wide campaign against domestic violence.

Shahid mentioned that in order to protect the rights of juveniles, President Solih also ratified the First Amendment to the Juvenile Justice Act of 2019 in December 2020.

In his speech, Minister Shahid also touched on the effects of climate change and said that no threat is felt by SIDS such as the Maldives as acutely as the climate emergency.

Climate change infringes on the full enjoyment of a wide range of human rights, including peoples’ right to health, water and housing— all of which are, at present, further jeopardised by the COVID-19 pandemic. While climate justice remains a top priority for the Maldives, this is yet another aspect of sustainable development which is likely to lose substantial progress during the pandemic. Our government understands that we simply cannot afford to halt our investments in climate-resilient infrastructure and biodiversity protection, because our people share a mutual relationship with nature. Our most vulnerable will face increased flooding, food insecurity and displacement if we do not protect our fragile island ecosystems and if we do not continue progressing towards the Sustainable Development Goals.
Foreign Minister Shahid

The Minister touched on international issues that the Maldives have fought for in the past and mentioned the plight of the Palestinian people as well as the protection of the Rohingya in Myanmar.

Minister Shahid said that the Maldives is committed to working constructively with the international community to further advance and build upon the accomplishments we have achieved so far.

Minister Shahid concluded his address by announcing that the Maldives intends to stand as a candidate for this Council, for the term 2023 to 2025 and said that he hoped all the member states support this venture.