Concluding Observations, CRC/C/MDV/CO/4-5, 29 January 2016: Maldives
III. Main areas of concern and recommendations
C. General principles (arts. 2, 3, 6 and 12)
26. The Committee is concerned about:
(e) That children who are or are perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex are stigmatized and marginalized in the society.
27. The Committee urges the State party to make greater efforts to ensure that all children within its jurisdiction enjoy all the rights enshrined in the Convention without discrimination. The Committee also urges the State party to amend its legislation in order to eliminate any discrimination against girls, children born out of wedlock or following out-of-court marriages, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex children. The Committee further urges the State party to investigate and punish all cases of political figures and religious leaders making remarks that are demeaning to girls and that promote gender-based discrimination and violence. The Committee encourages the State party to use legislative, policy and educational measures, including sensitization and awareness-raising, to end stigmatization of girls, of children born out of wedlock or following out-of-court marriages, and of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex children.
E. Violence against children (arts. 19, 24 (3), 28 (2), 34, 37 (a) and 39)
Torture and other cruel or degrading treatment or punishment
40. While noting that article 54 of the Constitution prohibits torture, the Committee is concerned that, under the 2014 Regulation on Conducting Trials, Investigations and Sentencing Fairly for Offences Committed by Minors (arts. 4 and 5), children who have reached puberty may be punished by flogging for committing certain hadood offences. The Committee is seriously concerned that minors continue to be flogged or sentenced to flogging and that there is a gender bias in the application of this punishment as, in the majority of cases, only women and girls who have been convicted for sex outside of marriage are sentenced to flogging. The Committee is further concerned that child offenders may also be lawfully sentenced to life imprisonment, banishment or flogging for consensual same-sex relations.
41. The Committee reiterates its previous recommendation (see CRC/C/MDV/CO/3, para. 56) and, with reference to its general comment No. 8 (2006) on the right of the child to protection from corporal punishment, it urges the State party:
(a) To take all measures necessary to ensure that persons who committed crimes while under the age of 18 are not subjected to any form of torture, including corporal punishment, and that corporal punishment as a disciplinary measure is prohibited by law in the home, alternative care settings, justice institutions, schools and workplace settings;
(b) To amend the 2014 Regulation on Conducting Trials, Investigations and Sentencing Fairly for Offences Committed by Minors (arts. 4 and 5) to prohibit flogging;
(c) To explicitly prohibit life imprisonment of persons under the age of 18.
Freedom of the child from all forms of violence
42. While welcoming the adoption in 2012 of the Domestic Violence Act and the activities carried out to raise awareness about its provisions, the Committee is concerned that the Act is not interpreted as prohibiting corporal punishment of children. The Committee is particularly concerned that:
(f) Children who are or are perceived to be lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender or intersex face intimidation and overt threats.
43. With reference to its general comment No. 13 (2011) on the right of the child to freedom from all forms of violence, and Sustainable Development Goal 16, target 16.2, on ending abuse, exploitation, trafficking and all forms of violence against and torture of children, the Committee recommends that the State party:
(g) Prevent intimidation and threats directed towards lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and intersex children.
Link to full text of the report: Concluding Observations-CRC-Maldives-2016-eng