Human Rights Commission of the Maldives


HRCM’s National Inquiry on Access to Education for Children with Disabilities Launched

Published on 21-11-2012



The National Inquiry in to Access to Education for Children with Disabilities that is to be conducted by the Human Rights Commission of the Maldives was launched last night by the First Lady of Maldives Madam Ilham Hussein.

The purpose of this inquiry is to look in to the practices, policies and laws related to the education for children with disabilities. HRCM will also inquire into the States role in providing for people with disabilities in a non-discriminatory manner, with a special focus on the educational needs of children with disabilities. Preliminary visits to raise awareness among the stakeholders of the right to education for children with disabilities will be conducted in Male’ and in the Atolls.

Addressing the audience, the President of the Commission Mariyam Azra Ahmed stated that while the Constitution of the Maldives requires that the governments provide equal access to education for children with disabilities, considering the current situation, the administrative and legal provisions are yet to be fully realized. Azra noted that a proper system to provide education for children with disabilities is not in place in the Atolls. She further noted that while educational opportunities for the children in Male’ need improvements, there are many children who do not have access to education in the atolls.

The Guest of Honor Madam Ilham Hussein also addressed the ceremony. In her speech, she stated that one of the most important aims of such an inquiry will be to find out the reasons why there are barriers for children with disabilities to access their right to education; whether it is due to cultural or attitudinal barriers or due to the lack of support from families or because of lack of opportunities from the state level. She expressed her hope that the way forward will be clear to the State and other concerned parties once these questions have been answered.

At present there are 10 Special Education Needs (SEN) classes in the Maldives; 2 schools in Male’ and 8 schools in the Atolls.

According to the most recent statistics (2009), there are 2,250 children with disabilities registered in the Maldives and of these children only 230 have access to education.

The launching ceremony of HRCM’s National Inquiry on Access to Education for Children with Disabilities was held at Dharubaaruge’ Faashana Maalam on the 20th of November 2012 at 20:30 hours.