DRP MP proposes amendment to lower age of juveniles from 18 to 16

Dhivehi Rayyithunge Party (DRP) MP and Youth Wing’s head Ahmed Mahlouf has presented an amendment to the parliament to designate persons under the age of 16 years as juveniles.

Currently persons under the age of 18 are legally considered as juveniles.

”The purpose to change 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 as 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.

”They do not prefer or get the opportunity for further studies but they cannot even be employed because they are considered as minors,” he said. ”In a religious perspective also it is more appropriate to set the age of 16 as adults.”

Of the roughly 10,000 students who sit their O’level exams each year in the Maldives 8000 fail, although the pass rate is slowly improving.

Mahlouf also presented an bill to regulate the resort security which requires each resort and hotel to have a security system approved by police.

”This was submitted considering the recent attempts to rob resorts in the Maldives which could eventually effect the entire economy of the country,” Mahlouf said. ”The bill also requires police to supervise the security of the resorts annually.”

Recently, a 20 year-old man was found dead floating on the lagoon of Baros Island Resort and Spa, allegedly one of the seven persons that went to rob the island.

Mahlouf also said a DRP Youth Wing’s rally will be held Friday night near the Tsunami Monument where senior members of the party will address people about gang violence.