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More than 100 child abuse cases reported in April

During April, there were 44 cases of neglect, 35 cases of sexual abuse, 16 cases of physical abuse and 11 cases of emotional abuse.



Some 116 cases of violence against children were reported during April, down from 125 cases in March.

There were 44 cases of neglect, 35 cases of sexual abuse, 16 cases of physical abuse, and 11 cases of emotional abuse, according to statistics released Thursday by the gender ministry.

Other types of violence included five cases of bullying and harassment, two cases of cyberbullying and two cases where children witnessed domestic violence.

Violence against children accounted for 49 percent of the 238 cases reported to the ministry in April.

The figure was 56 percent in February, when 117 cases involved violence against children.

During April, the ministry also attended to 27 custody disputes, 14 parenting issues, five cases involving child maintenance, three violations of the right to shelter, four cases of refusal of access to education and seven cases of children with suicidal thoughts, behaviour and self-harming.

Some 11 boys and one girl came into conflict with law enforcement, including three cases of physical assault and two cases of theft.

Of the 25 cases of domestic abuse, the most common involved physical violence, followed by emotional and verbal abuse.

Gender ministry statistics for 2017 confirmed a rise in child sex abuse cases, with more than 400 such cases reported last year.

Child abuse and sexual abuse remain key problems in the Maldives, and a mandatory child sex offenders’ registry was published in 2015.

The punishment for sexually abusing a child is up to 25 years in prison.