UN Human Rights Committee calls for widespread institutional reform in the Maldives

The UN Human Rights Committee (UNHRC) has urged the Maldives to guarantee citizens’ right to democracy, permit freedom of religion, reform the Judicial Services Commission (JSC), abolish flogging and the death penalty, and deal with human trafficking, among other recommendations.

The  Committee has issued concluding observations regarding the Maldives’ commitment to universal human rights, following the country’s defence of its record in Geneva on July 12-13.

The Maldivian delegation to the UNHRC was headed by Home Minister Dr Mohamed Jameel, a former Justice Minister during the 30 year rule of President Maumoon Abdul Gayoom and co-author of a pamphlet entitled ‘President Nasheed’s devious plot to destroy the Islamic faith of Maldivians’, published in January 2012.

Dr Jameel was accompanied by State Minister for Foreign Affairs, Dunya Maumoon – Gayoom’s daughter – as well as the Maldives’ Permanent Representative in Geneva, Iruthisham Adam.


A core concern of the committee involved the Maldives’ reservation to Article 18, concerning freedom of religion, the validity of which was questioned by the committee on the basis that it was “not specific, and does not make clear what obligations of human rights compliance the State party has or has not undertaken.”

Particular concerns included the tying of religion to citizenship, prompting the UNHRC to call on the country to revise its constitution, and abolish the crime of apostasy in legislation.

The committee also expressed concern about the clause in the constitution enabling the limitation of rights and freedoms “in order to protect and maintain the tenets of Islam”, challenging the broadness of the clause and warning that such a provision could be “invoked to justify the failure by the State party to fulfil its [human rights ] obligations”.

Concern was also raised about the criminalisation of homosexuality, and the “stigmatisation and marginalisation of homosexuals in [Maldivian] society”.

For its part, during its defence, the Maldives’ delegation stressed that the country was a homogeneous society and spoke one language and followed one religion, adding there was therefore no debate in Maldivian society regarding the removal of the provision relating to freedom of religion.

“This is not dogmatic government policy or preference, but rather a reflection of the deep societal belief that the Maldives always has been and always should be a 100 percent Muslim nation. Laws, like government, should be based on the will of the people,” Dunya told the panel.

Controversial transfer of power

The Committee noted in particular “the legal and political circumstances” under which the Feburary 7 transfer of power took place, and called on the government to ensure a citizen’s right to self determination – “ which lies at the core of democratic government based on the consent of the people.”

The report called on the Maldives to ensure that the Commission of National Inquiry was able to function “in conditions guaranteeing its complete independence and impartiality”, and called on the government “as a matter of urgency” to protect individuals who had provided information to the inquiry.

Torture inquiry commission

The UNHRC called for the government to establish an independent commission of inquiry to investigate “all human rights violations, including torture that took place in the State party prior to 2008 and provide compensation to the victims.”

The Committee should further investigate all allegations of torture that took place at the time of the demonstrations of February 8, 2012, in Malé and Addu, prosecute those responsible, and provide compensation and rehabilitation to the victims. The State party should implement the findings of the Commission of Inquiry set up to investigate events that took place during the political transition period.”

The committee also expressed concern at the composition of the police integrity commission, which was “hampering its independence”, and said it was concerned at the low number of cases relating to torture and ill-treatment received by the Commission as well as at the low number of police officers sanctioned.”

Legal reform

The composition and the functioning of the Judicial Services Commission (JSC) was “seriously compromised”, the UNHRC observed, a state of affairs which was affecting the independence of the judiciary “as well as its impartiality and integrity.”

“The Committee is concerned that such a situation undermines the judicial protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms in the Maldives,” the report stated, and called on the government to reform the JSC.

The UNHRC also called on the Maldives to abolish flogging and the death penalty.

Human trafficking

The committee expressed particular concern over reports relating to “trafficking in migrants from neighbouring countries for labour and sexual exploitation purposes.”

“No legislation has yet been enacted by the State party to prevent and protect against trafficking in persons. The Committee is further concerned at the lack of statistical data on the number of trafficked persons, the investigations conducted, the number of prosecutions and convictions, and the protective measures put in place, as well as the absence of a strategy to combat trafficking,” the Committee stated, calling on the government to study the root cause of the problem, provide data, punish traffickers, and provide protection to victims.

Domestic violence

Positive observations included the enactment of an Anti-Domestic Violence Act in April 2012, although the committee expressed concern at the low rate of complaints lodged for domestic violence, and at the lack of effective mechanisms of protection and rehabilitation for victims.

“The State party should take the necessary measures to implement fully the Domestic Violence Act. It should facilitate complaints from victims without fear of reprisals, intimidation or exclusion by the community; investigate, prosecute and punish those responsible with appropriate penalties; and provide compensation to victims. The State party should further establish a proper mechanism of protection, including by setting up shelters and by providing psychological rehabilitation and conduct awareness-raising campaigns on the negative impacts of domestic violence,” the report noted.

The Maldives is required to respond within one year detailing how it had implemented the Committee’s recommendations.


67 thoughts on “UN Human Rights Committee calls for widespread institutional reform in the Maldives”

  1. oh no, my god!
    LOL has gone crazy, pls the so called baghees, pls do something, kekeke

    Tsk,tsk, the lengths people will go to have a one night stander with the same sex, kekeke

    you perverts and ignorants

  2. LOL and Concubine

    pls don't be upset about the increasing amounts of muslims in the civilized western world

    and knowing both of you, your brains can hardly digest it kekeke

  3. it's like LOL saying that she doesn't believe in god because physically she can't touch or hear GOD

    get a grip will ya! we can't see gravity or energy also but still it's there.
    guess LOL doesn't believe in the existence of gravity or energy

    medieval people of the bygone era and still calls the arabs uncivilized, dimwitted dorks, i presume kekeke

  4. Yes you can't see energy or gravity. But do you see things fall ? Gravity can be calculated and measured energy as well. You can see energy as well. Such as light is energy too.
    gravity can be calculated using: Fg = G (m1*m2)/(d^2) and energy can be calculated using E=mc2. Everything can be proven to be there using these such kind of formulas but the only that you don't have a formula is GOD. Learn some science before you speak.

    Yes you cannot see X rays too but you know you can definitely prove its there. Isn't it ?

  5. I believe in Spinoza's God who reveals himself in the orderly harmony of what exists, not in a God who concerns himself with the fates and actions of human beings. (Albert Einstein) << Know this guy ?

  6. @LOL
    oh, now you believe in a god eh, but pls be careful when quoting another persons revelations especially that of Einstein
    yes, in fact i know Albert Einstein very well
    “Science without religion is lame. Religion without science is blind.” - Albert Einstein
    his very own words, you dork

    and i know your beloved Karl Marx<<<(know this crazy guy) and his materialistic view too
    in fact Karl marx was nothing close to a scientist but proposed theories regarding religion which he hardly touched on. his views of religion and yours (by coincidence or not)appears very similar.

    "orderly harmony of what exists"
    which includes humans(having a much higher brain power than any other living creature and a tendency to ignore the truth and challenge)

    'not a god who concerns himself with the fate of humans'
    this is very biased, why can't god involve himself in the actions we do as he was the one who created both humans and the whole universe

    how can god create the universe and then leave the humans to create on their own. it sounds silly and absurd??

    How can god create the universe and then leave the humans to their fate
    my question is what is "fate" then. who created fate.or did it just appear from no where like some theories of Darwin

    this is my point, whenever we find something hard and becoming difficult we blame it on god and then like drug addicts forget about who we really are???
    when we want something badly and when our minds desire for something too much we go against anything that comes our way, even if it is god!

    so do you see the universe and the things beyond it. can you ever make or create something like it. never!
    we can only calculate and make assumptions like using Einsteins formula and so forth. it's not like Einstein created the things that he apparently found. gravity and energy was there the whole time and people only found it much later. it shows how incapable we are??

  7. as i say LOL
    think like this!
    you came to existence because of your father and mother
    your father and mother came to existence because of your grand parents and so forth
    so definitely, without any doubt all of the things on the earth and beyond it came from some powerful being
    you can't deny the chain but it's your choice:)

  8. Shimy you so much ain't thinking out of the box! The universe does not need a creator to create. What if everything came from nothing ? Why don't you think its possible ?

    here read this a bit. Science at its best. Have a look how they proved the theory of Higgs boson? They do call it God particle on which most of you religious people will hate them to be called. See this took 40 years, world leading scientist never thought this will be proved. But science again proved it to be there. Now we have a better understanding in how the universe was formed. According to this it does not need a creator to create the universe. THE BIG ELECTRON 😛


  9. Now PPM claims that MDP forced UN to release the report as it says ? Is it true ?


  10. LOL,

    yeah, Jameel could'nt answer the questions aimed at him properly but do remember that MDP and Seyku Nasheed also came to power with the help of the so called extremists in 2009???!!
    thus MDP also used religion as a weapon for their gains!

    about the big Electron or God particle(god is a particle, kekeke)
    what does this prove??? that now you can dismiss the belief of the existence of god because scientists found out a particle which came after the big bang.

    scientists found out particles before also
    i quote
    THEORY HAS IT that as the universe cooled after the big bang, an invisible force field formed.

    so what caused the big bang???? scientists need to find out this first rather than assume and speculate!

    i do want to quote the Quran(although non muslims want to tear and torch it) but as you hate it so much i wont kekeke

  11. Shimy you are nuts. Its not saying God is a particle. Which Island were you born in. Was the population of your Island 400 ?

    This experiments very much explained about big bang and LHC


  12. I don't like either way how all the parties in Maldives uses as a tool in Maldives. Its the biggest and the most strongest tool they can use in Maldives. Its not fair I know. And I would not be doing it if it was me. You don't yet understand about my thoughts, You will, someday when you grow up a bit.

  13. Shut up both LOL and Shimy. Both of you are as embarrassing as the other in arguing your positions and it's not even relevant to the article.

  14. If minivan had certain rules about commenting. most comments are articles too. Yea. Shut them up anybody who is talking sense ! Or kill them!! Don't let them be heard !!

  15. future of maldives!


  16. LOL, Shimy, no one aked my opinion and no one wants you dead (melodramatic much?).

    Now shut up. Or continue spewing your petty nonsense at each other. Your choice.


Comments are closed.