President Ibrahim Mohamed Solih on Wednesday said that placing children in state care is not a tenable solution to address the problems they face. He made the remark during the opening ceremony of the Child Rights Symposium held in association with the United Nations International Children’s Emergency Fund (UNICEF) and the Children's Ombudsperson's Office of Maldives. The event will be held from 14–15 September, 2022, at Crossroads Maldives.
Speaking at the ceremony, the President said that healthy family ties are crucial for children's development and safety, and that maintaining these ties would strengthen familial bonds. He noted that the administration undertakes many programs aimed at fostering better domestic relations.
President Solih said that state care is not a viable substitute for a parents’ love, no matter how compassionate the care provided, and that placing the children with relatives is the best option for them. The President said the children placed in Kudakudhinge Hiyaa and Fiyavathi in Hulhumale' have now been relocated to secure facilities provided by the Ministry of Gender, Family, and Social Services to home children on six islands in order to provide them with a more familiar environment.
The President also stated that there are various areas in which children are vulnerable, such as drug addiction, and that they must be protected from such risks. The President said that the symposium is being held at a crucial time and that the discussions will help in identifying the challenges faced in protecting their rights.
At the opening ceremony, a book about the Symposium was presented to the President.