The government of the Republic of Maldives has been working to repatriate Maldivian families stranded in the refugee camps and other areas of the conflict zones. The government took this initiative to respond to the pleas of the families of those women and children who accompanied their husbands and fathers to conflict zones, and took refuge in the refugee camps, many with life-threatening conditions. The mentioned families had been appealing the President of the Maldives and other concerned government offices to repatriate the families back home to safety. Further, the government of the Maldives acknowledges its responsibility to keep all its citizens safe.
There had been instances in the past where the government could not prosecute the returnees, nor were they rehabilitated and reintegrated due to the inadequacies in the laws. Since then, laws and regulations have been amended and strengthened to prevent such situations from repeating. Following these amendments, strict procedural processes were put into place where anyone at the age of criminal responsibility will go through an investigative process. Victims will receive religious, educational and psychosocial support. This program has been undertaken as a joint effort between the relevant government stakeholders with tremendous support and guidance from international partners. The government and all the stakeholders involved have paid special attention to ensuring the returnees' human rights, with a special focus on women and children, and to meet International best practices. Today, a Maldivian family faced with life-threatening and destitute conditions had been brought back to the Maldives. This family includes a mother and her four children under the age of 15.
The rights and dignity of women and children victimised due to torture and other cruel and inhumane conditions are protected with special attention as per the international conventions and Maldivian law. Hence exposing the identity and revealing personal information of such individuals are prohibited by law. We appeal to the public to refrain from such activities as that will revictimise the individuals and hinder the process of rehabilitation and reintegration. In these efforts, the primary focus of the government will be to ensure the internal security of the country while ensuring the rights of Maldivian citizens and to rehabilitate and reintegrate vulnerable and marginalized individuals and their families.