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Statement by India during the Universal Periodic Review of Maldives at 22nd Session of the Working Group on UPR of the UN Human Rights Council - delivered by Ambassador Ajit Kumar, PR, Geneva

May 06, 2015

Mr. President,

India welcomes the delegation of the Maldives led by H.E. Ms.Dunya Maumoon, Minister of Foreign Affairs. We have listened carefully to their presentation.

Maldives faces capacity constraints in many sectors. In keeping with our close ties, India has been providing Maldives scholarships, training slots and institutional assistance. We would be happy to expand our bilateral cooperation.

We have seen reports by UN agencies that press freedom is being abridged. The Special Rapporteur on the independence of judges and lawyers has also reported their increased politicization. Maintaining public trust requires strong adherence to due process. The space for legitimate political dissent must be safeguarded.

We have noted the progress made by the Maldives in the achievement of the Millennium Development Goals, particularly in reduction of child mortality and improvement of maternal health. We also welcome the creation of a separate Ministry of Law and Gender in July 2014.

We encourage the Maldives to reinforce its efforts in addressing inter-related issues of drug addiction, gang violence and organized crime which it has identified as national challenges.

The exploitation of migrant workers reported by the HCHR merits scrutiny. Migrant workers are often abused and denied their hard-earned income by traffickers and unscrupulous employers. Recently, some violent attacks have taken place against migrant workers. We recommend that the Government of Maldives puts in place measures for the safety and security of foreign workers and effectively implement the Anti-Human Trafficking Act.

We look forward to working with the people and the Government of Maldives in their quest for peace, development, prosperity and democracy.

Thank you Mr. President.
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