School children are being lured to guest houses by adults and sexually abused, police have claimed.
Head of the police Family and Child Protection Unit (FCPU), Chief Inspector Ahmed Shujau, told the press that school children between the ages of 14 to 18 were being sexually abused after being lured to guest houses during school hours.
Shujau said that police had learned that the minors were usually befriended or seduced through the internet.
While school children were found to visit guest houses with children of the same age, he continued, there had been incidents where children were being taken by adults.
According to Shujau, 27 such cases were recently reported to the FCPU, 16 of which involved child sexual abuse while 11 cases were forced sexual assaults on women.
Shujau told revealed that the perpetrators included adult males and females as well.
The Chief Inspector advised parents to nurture closer relationship with their children and to always be aware of their child’s whereabouts.
The age of consent in the Maldives is 18 years and above. Unless proven otherwise, sexual relations with a minor is considered non-consensual under existing Maldivian laws.