Proposal to lower legal age of juveniles to 16 may contradict UN convention, warns HRCM

The Human Rights Commission of the Maldives (HRCM) has met with opposition Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP Ahmed Mahlouf after he presented an amendment to the law on protection of the rights of children redefining all persons above the age of 16 to adults.

Currently the legal age of children is all persons above the age of 18.

”In yesterday’s meeting the commission discussed the challenges that we may face in protecting and upholding the rights of children,” the HRCM said in a statement. ”The commission highlighted the importance of providing many of the rights mentioned in the law on protection of the rights of children to all persons below the age of 18.”

HRCM also requested that all persons below the ago of 18 should have all the rights mentioned in the UNICEF’s Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC).

Mahlouf presented an amendment to parliament to designate only persons under the age of 16 years as juveniles last week, lowering the age limit by two years.

”The purpose of changing the age is due to the significant increase in involvement of minors in crimes sinister in nature, and they cannot be sentenced to the full extent as they are considered minors,” said Mahlouf. ”Although they are considered as minors, they are sometimes very dangerous.”

Mahlouf said he has noted that children of the age 16-18 are more likely to be engaged in criminal activities because many finished their ordinary level education at the age of 16, and most of them did not prefer further studies which was leading them to the wrong path.

Speaking at a DRP rally Mahlouf said according to information he gathered to draft the bill, more than 600 young people have committed or have assisted committing assaults.


12 thoughts on “Proposal to lower legal age of juveniles to 16 may contradict UN convention, warns HRCM”

  1. What the HRCM and others should understand is that no rule can be applied universally. There should be a bit of flexibility and I think Mahoof, this time, can make a strong case.

    Mahloof says he is not proposing that children should get married at 16 but that 16 years old offenders should be punished appropriately. I normally do not agree with the childish outbursts of Mahloof. But this time I agree with him. 🙂

  2. Mahuloofu and anyone in favor of this are just idiots, I always say to everyone he is the Parliament monkey.

    Rather than focusing on due process the more successful legal system would focus on prevention.

  3. The legal is 16 even in some western countries. Besides, what basis does HRCM to issue a 'warning'.. Some loose conventions which really does not mean anything.

    Children's rights must be protected but it must decided by law from parliament and not elsewhere.

  4. What happened to disciplining children?

    So when a situation arises you move the goal posts? What happens after when 14 year-olds start committing crime?

    Children are prosecuted and face consequences for crimes they commit but they are not treated as adults because they are not adults. Our courts are incapable of meting out justice to adults, forget kids, let's not get carried away here. Just accept responsibility for your spawn. This will help. Really.

  5. strengthen the laws or ammend the Childrensact of this country but do not change the age of children.

  6. Age of children should be lowered to 16 !

    Numerous crimes are being committed by that age group and it is imperative that Maldives mete out the legal punishment for such crimes.

    Even in the western countries, 16 or even 14 is considered as the age of children. The current situation have to be considered when setting the age limit - not the fancy of some so-called child-right-lobbyists!

    Why aren't we considering the western countries on this matter???

  7. As a Muslim country we do not have to follow some UNICEF's point of view on this matter. The creator of Human had explained what are children and Adults. We must follow that if we want a tolerant society.

  8. what we need is a legal overhaul. Its the justice system that needs to be properly implemented.

  9. Tell me, was it becoz the age limit is not 16 yet that this woman, got away with gross negligence and murder of her baby boy? She ONLY has to serve 6 months imprisonment!! is the problem with the legal age limit or is it with those who implement these laws?

  10. Given the situation right now, we need all actions as quickly asap, ie lowering age of children to 16, parents being more responsible for their kids and overhauling the justice system!

    We can always increase the age to 18 again at a later stage, but the fact that young kids are committing violent crime and using their age as an excuse to get away with it, is not at all acceptable! This step is also necessary to create some level of barrier for the adults who are actually exploiting these kids! Overall, though as stated in earlier comments, parental supervision and a law enforcement system that actually works at all levels is what we should really aim for!

  11. OR. Just implement the existing law. According to the regulation on sentencing children for criminal offenses, any child over 10 can be prosecuted for being involved in masthuvaa thakechchaa behey hurihaa baavathegge massalathah and gasthugai meehun merumaari, maraa behey ehenihen massalathakaai mifadha kameh'. and detained in a juvenile detention centre. build one of those.

    seriously this is the best mahlouf can think up? lowering the legal age of a child? we don't have space to lock up any more people. Sentencing more people to imprisonment is not going to help any.

    or just change the regulation on sentencing juveniles so that there's not as much leniency with repeat offenders or murderous little bastards.
    Lowering the age of a child is ridiculous in the Maldives.

    But changing legislation is useless when sentences aren't being enforced anyway. This would just make it worse for child victims of sexual abuse here, with all the hungry hungry pedophiles and religious nutjobs. It helps no one but them.

    And HRCM seriously, nobody is going to listen to you if you keep harping on about implementing CRC, when most people don't believe its legitimate here.


Comments are closed.