There are currently 169 children under the state’s care, the Ministry of Gender, Family and Social Services has confirmed. Responding to local media, the ministry said there were 75 girls and 95 boys under state care and that this included three girls and four boys below the age of one.

Previously, children had been placed in the ‘Kudakudhinge Hiyaa’ and ‘Fiyavathi’ children’s shelters; however, since last year, safe shelters are being established in individual islands, and children have been transferred to such facilities.

A breakdown of children currently under the state’s care is as follows: in Dhihdhoo island of Haa Alifu Atoll, one girl and three boys; in Funadhoo Island of Shaviyani Atoll, eight girls and 12 boys; in Manadhoo Island of Noonu Atoll, 13 girls; in Eydhafushi Island of Baa Atoll, seven girls and eight boys; in Kudahuvadhoo Island of Dhaalu Atoll, no children; in Fonadhoo Island of Laamu Atoll, nine boys; and in Fuvamulah of Shaviyani Atoll, five girls and 10 boys.

In the last five years, 132 girls and 96 boys have been handed over to their families or have aged out into the community. From 2018 to August 2023, 175 children were taken into state care.

According to the ministry’s monthly statistics, children are taken into state care every month for various reasons. Some children are temporarily under state care and then reunited with their families, the ministry said.