There was a 15 percent rise in reported cases of child abuse in the Maldives in October compared to the previous month, gender ministry statistics have shown.
The ministry said 122 out of 272 reported cases were regarding different forms of child abuse – 45 percent of the total reported cases in October.
Child abuse cases have continued to make up the highest percentage of reports lodged with the ministry for the past five months.
Reports related to child abuse in October included 33 cases of negligence, 28 cases of sexual abuse, 25 cases of physical abuse, 15 cases of bullying, nine cases of emotional abuse, 12 cases of cyber-bullying, and nine cases of witnessing domestic violence.
Behavioural problems connected to children were also reported, with 18 different cases in assault, stealing and vandalism.
While child abuse and sexual abuse remains key challenges in the Maldives, a mandatory child sex offenders registry was published for the first time in November 2015.
The online registry came after a five-year delay and currently lists more than 70 individuals with their photos, full names, national ID card numbers, date of birth, age, address, date of conviction, date of imprisonment, date of scheduled release and name of the detention centre holding the individual.
The online registry is mandated by a 2009 law on child sexual abuse prevention.