Efforts to reintegrate juvenile offenders and at-risk youth back into society as responsible citizens and provide them with a better future is producing results, states State Minister for Home Affairs, Ali Nazeer.
Sunday marked two years to the day the Juvenile Justice Unit was changed to the Department of Juvenile Justice with the enactment of the Juvenile Justice Act.
Speaking to Sun about the work of the Department of Juvenile Justice, Nazeer said the efforts by the department to provide juvenile offenders with a better future was producing results.
The uninterrupted continuation of policies and programs under the Juvenile Justice Act will result in a significant reduction in juvenile offenders in Maldives, he said.
Nazeer commended the staff of the Department of Juvenile Justice for their hard work, commenting that people working for the rights of children form the foundation of the juvenile justice system.
The work of the Department of Juvenile Justice expanded with the enactment of the Juvenile Justice Act, which is mandated to work with relevant state institutions to protect the interests of juvenile offenders, conduct rehabilitation programs for juvenile offenders, and protect the interests of juvenile offenders at court during investigation and trial.
Department of Juvenile Justice is also mandated to conduct research to identify the reasons juveniles engage in crimes, plan and conduct awareness programs in collaboration with state institutions to counter juvenile-led crimes, as well as diversion programs.
The department is also mandated to operate juvenile detention facilities.
The Department of Juvenile Justice, run under the Home Ministry, recently opened a halfway house in Th. Veymandoo and is working on building another halfway house in HA. Hoarafushi and a residential treatment center in Dh. Kudahuvadhoo.