First Lady Fazna Ahmed on Tuesday urged authorities and institutions charged with preventing and investigating cases of violence and abuse against children to ensure that the rights of the child is their foremost priority. She made the call while speaking at the opening ceremony of the "Police Conference on Violence Against Children: Prevention, Protection, and Investigation."

The three-day conference, held at the CROSSROADS Maldives, is organised by the Maldives Police Service in collaboration with UNICEF Maldives. It serves as a platform for participants to familiarise themselves with the laws and regulations protecting children's rights and identify areas requiring attention while formulating an 18-month action plan.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the First Lady spoke about the individual and institutional roles and responsibilities in attending to child abuse cases and urged strengthened inter-agency collaboration and communication in dealing with such matters. She also spoke about the role of relevant agencies in ensuring public confidence in the system. She also noted a shortage of human resources in the field as a setback to child protection efforts and urged collective action by all agencies to ensure children's rights.