Session 11

Cases of children born out of wedlock, children being neglected by their families and cases of children being unable to live with their biological parents are often referred to the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services. If it is in the best interests of the child, these children are taken under State care. Elderly persons and persons with special needs that are neglected by their family are also taken under State care in special cases.

The first section of the paper will focus on children and elderly persons under State care and how their care is managed. The second section will look at the role of the Attorney General’s office as the representative of the State in applying for the legal guardianship of a child, should the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services determine that it is in their best interests do so. In addition, the paper will discuss how well the purpose of the Constitution of the Republic of Maldives, the Act Number 9/91 (Act on the Protection on the Rights of the Child), and Act Number 4/2000 (Family Act) is being served in these matters.

It will also discuss the current foster care system of the Maldives and outline the rules on the Guideline on Foster Care, including the challenges in the current system and the difficulties that arise in reinstating children with their families. Finally, the paper will propose solutions to combat the challenges highlighted in the paper.