HRCM responds to criticism from the education ministry over UN submission

The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) has responded to criticism from the Ministry of Education regarding the Universal Periodic Review (UPR) report submitted to the UN Human Rights Council.

In a press statement released yesterday (September 21), HRCM denied the accusations made by the Education Ministry that the section on education had been based on an outdated 2008 UNESCO report, saying it had used a joint unpublished report by UNICEF and the Ministry of Gender and Family from 2009.

The Supreme Court has today initiated suo moto proceedings against HRCM members in relation to the document, while the President’s Office has this week suggested that some phrasing regarding the death penalty is misleading.

The HRCM said that the education ministry had been given the opportunity to comment on the draft of the UPR report but failed to make any recommendations.

“A draft of the report was sent to the high ranking officials of the education ministry on August 31 to comment on it. However, we did not receive any inquiries from the ministry on the validity of the data in the report nor did we receive any criticism of the report,” said HRCM.

The ministry has claimed, however, that the commission had chosen not to include information it sent in the report.

The UPR report states that, even though “corporal punishment is prohibited in schools, 8 percent of the students attending secondary schools have experienced violence perpetrated by teachers”.

The Ministry of Education argued that the statement was outdated and that no study had been done during the last six years to identify the changes in the education system.

In yesterday’s statement, the HRCM countered the argument by saying that the UPR is intended to evaluate the situation over the last four years and said that there are numerous studies which would validate the statement including the conclusions sent by international conventions.

The dispute over the report’s content comes at a time of an ongoing investigation by the education ministry and the Maldives Police Service into an alleged bullying case by a teacher at Imaaduhdheen School.

In the report, the HRCM also urged the government to pass the Education Act and to make concrete efforts to eradicate the disparities in the availability of educational services.


One thought on “HRCM responds to criticism from the education ministry over UN submission”

  1. How can a court initiative a proceeding? This makes it a political organisation directly invested in the running of the state, rather than its constitutional role as an impartial arbiter that mediates disputes within the public arena. Oh... never mind. Carry on.


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