Priorities and Issues

Human Rights

The promotion and protection of human rights is a foreign policy priority. As such, the Maldives actively participates and contributes to the global system of human rights, ratifying numerous treaties and reporting on those obligations. The Maldives has also once again in 2019, extended an open invitation to all Special Procedures Mandate holders.

Universal Periodic Review (UPR)

The UPR is a State-driven process under the auspices of the United Nations Human Rights Council aimed at improving human rights situations in all countries through peer review, and also addressing violations of human rights wherever they may occur. The UPR Working Group holds three sessions per year.

The UPR is currently undergoing its 4th cycle, which began in November 2022.

The Maldives has been reviewed three times so far. The 4th review of the Maldives is expected in July 2025.

First Cycle – 3 November 2010
Second Cycle – 6 May 2015
Third Cycle – 4 November 2020

Details of the Maldives UPR review and recommendations can be found here.

At the national level, the UPR process is led by the Attorney General’s Office, with the support of an inter-Ministerial committee, and other relevant stakeholders.

Treaty Body Reporting

Treaty Body 

The human rights treaty bodies are committees of independent experts that monitor implementation of the core international human rights treaties. Every State that is a party to a treaty is required to take action to ensure that all citizens within the State have access to the rights outlined in the treaty.

There are 10 human rights treaty bodies made up of independent experts with proven human rights expertise who are nominated and elected by State parties for fixed renewable terms of four years. Of these 10 human rights treaty bodies, nine are treaty bodies that monitor the implementation of the core international human rights treaties while the tenth treaty body – the Sub-Committee on Prevention of Torture (SPT) – is established under the Optional Protocol to the Convention Against Torture.

The convention's governing bodies meet in Geneva, Switzerland. The Human Rights Treaties Division of OHCHR in Geneva provides assistance to all treaty bodies.

Reporting guidelines 

Becoming a party to a treaty, States are legally obligated to submit periodic reports to the relevant treaty body (except the SPT) on how the rights are being implemented initially within two years of the entry into force of the Convention and then whenever the Committee requests (usually every five years).

The treaty bodies may also obtain information on a nation's human rights situation from national human rights institutions (NHRIs), international and national civil society organizations (CSOs), United Nations agencies, other intergovernmental organizations, professional associations, and academic institutions, in addition to the reports provided by States parties. Most committees set aside a specified period of time during plenary to hear testimony from CSOs and UN agencies.

The Committee examines each report and addresses its concerns and recommendations to the State party in the form of concluding observations.

The reporting system is an important instrument for a State to take stock of and evaluate what has been accomplished and what else needs to be done to promote and protect human rights in the country.

Details about the ratification of international human rights treaties, reporting cycles, and all documents related to the reporting cycle for the Maldives can be found here.

Special procedures mandate holders 

The Special Procedures of the Human Rights Council are either an individual (called "Special Rapporteur" or "Independent Expert") or a working group composed of five members, one from each of the five United Nations regional groupings: Africa, Asia and the Pacific, Latin America and the Caribbean, Eastern Europe and the Western group with mandates to report and advise on human rights from a thematic or country-specific perspective. The Special Procedures covers all human rights which includes civil, cultural, economic, political, and social. A mandate holder’s tenure is limited to a maximum of six years.

Scope of work

  • Conduct country visits,
  • Send communications to States on individual cases of alleged violations and concerns of a broader, structural nature
  • Conduct thematic studies and convene expert consultations, contributing to the development of international human rights standards,
  • Raising raise public awareness and advocacy
  • Consulting on technical cooperation.
  • Special Procedures report annually to the Human Rights Council and the majority of the mandates also report annually to the General Assembly.

There are 45 thematic and 14 country mandates since October 2022.

On 2 May 2006, the Maldives extended an open invitation to all Special Procedures Mandate holders. This invitation was reiterated in February 2019.

Special Procedures Mandate Holders who have visited the Maldives

  • Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion, 6 - 10 August 2006
  • Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges, 25 February – 1 March 2007
  • Special Rapporteur on Housing, 18-26 February 2009
  • Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Expression, 1 – 5 March 2009
  • Special Rapporteur on Internally Displaced Persons, 15 – 22 July 2011
  • Special Rapporteur on Independence of Judges, 17 – 24 February 2013
  • Special Rapporteur in the field of Cultural Rights, 9-18 June 2019
  • Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment, 17-24 November 2019
  • Special Representative of the Secretary-General on Violence Against Children, 1-8 March 2020.
  • Working Group on Arbitrary Detention, 29 November-10 December 2021.
  • Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, 15 – 24 May 2022
  • Working Group on discrimination against women and girls, 11 September – 22 November 2022

Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Fathulla Jameel Building, Malé, 20077, Republic of Maldives, | Tel Number: 00960 332-3400  |  Emergency Contact: 00960 798-3400