The Maldives formally declared its candidacy for the membership of the UN HRC for the term 2013-2025 on February 2020.


This announcement was made by Minister of foreign Affairs, His Excellency Abdulla Shahid, during the Contact Group Council Membership event, held on the sidelines of the 43rd Session of the HCR in Geneva, Switzerland.


The election is scheduled to be held later this year (October-November 2022) in New York, during the 77th Session of the United Nations General Assembly. 


The Maldives, in the past proudly and effectively served in the Human Rights Council for two consecutive terms, from 2011 to 2016, and with the support of member countries, is once again seeking the opportunity to serve in the Council. Maldives is eagerly looking forward to contributing the work of the Council, to promote and protect human rights, while also making it more dynamic. 


In Addition to Maldives’ commitment to promoting human rights at home and abroad, the membership at the Council would help the country in its democratic consolidation process and to further accelerate the ongoing efforts to modernize institutions and instill a culture of respect for human rights in the Maldivian society. 


The current administration is committed to rule of law, democracy and good governance; thus, the reform agenda is moving forward at full speed, such as strengthening independent institutions, judicial reforms etc.   


The Maldives, along with 6 other countries are contending for a total of 4 seats, for Asia Pacific Group, namely: The Maldives, Afghanistan, Kyrgyzstan, Bangladesh, Bahrain, Viet Nam and the Republic of Korea.



The Maldives at the Human Rights Council 


  • Since its inception in 2006, the HRC has been an important focus for Maldives’ multilateral engagement.


  • For 2013, Maldives held the Vice-Presidency of the Council, representing the Asia Pacific Group.


  • In its capacity as a member of the Council, the Maldives took leadership on several initiatives, including actively collaborating with countries to set up new mechanisms and mandates that further strengthened human rights throughout the world.


  • Since election to the Council in 2010, Maldives has stood for the voiceless, the marginalized and the smallest countries. The Maldives has continuously advocated for global efforts to support SIDS in increasing their resilience, as well as those to help emerging democracies to bring their national human rights mechanisms in line with international obligations and standards.


  • The Maldives together with the brotherly Islamic States of Indonesia and Nigeria, along with the Czech Republic, Lithuania, Mexico, and the USA, created the mandate of the Special Rapporteur on the Right to Peaceful Assembly. 


  • The Maldives, alongside Costa Rica, Slovenia and Switzerland, created the Council’s first mandate holder on the wider question of human rights and environment, namely the Independent Expert on Human Rights & Environment.


  • The Maldives was also the lead sponsor of resolutions 7/23 and 10/4 on “Human Rights and Climate Change” in 2009.


  • The Maldives played a key role in establishing the LDCs/SIDS Trust Fund through resolution 19/26 in 2012.


  • As a member of the core group on Human Rights and Environment along with Costa Rica, Slovenia, Switzerland and Morocco, the Maldives has successfully pushed for the adoption of the resolution on ‘The human right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment’ on 8 October 2021, at the 48th Session of the HRC. The Maldives believes that respect for human rights and the environment is a cornerstone of sustainable development. 


  • During Maldives’ membership at the Human Rights Council, it has always worked to advance key areas such as democratic consolidation, women’s rights, children’s rights, environment and human rights, prevention of torture and disabilities.


  • Children’s rights: Maldives was a lead negotiator of the Third Optional Protocol to the Convention on the Rights of the Child (on Communications Procedure). Maldives was also one of the first signatories the Optional Protocol.


  • By taking strong positions on both, country issues and thematic issues, Maldives has fostered good relations with key groups such as the Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) and the Non-Aligned Movement (NAM). 




  • In 2006, Maldives extended a standing invitation to all thematic special procedures mandate holders to visit the Maldives and reaffirmed the invitation in 2019.


  • Since then, the UN Special Rapporteur in the field of cultural rights, the UN Special Rapporteur on Torture and Other Cruel, Inhuman or Degrading Treatment or Punishment and the Working Group on Arbitrary Detention have conducted visits to the Maldives. The UN Special Rapporteur on the promotion and protection of human rights and fundamental freedoms while countering terrorism, and the UN Working Group on discrimination against women and girls have scheduled visits to the Maldives this year.


  • The Third Cycle of the Maldives’ Universal Periodic Review (UPR) was held in Geneva in 2021. A total of 97 UN member States delivered statements during the review and commended the Maldives on the remarkable progress made in enhancing the governance and legislative framework, implementing judicial reform and the protection of vulnerable groups.


  • As of today, Maldives has ratified 7 of the 9-core international human rights instruments and 5 of its optional protocols and, is aiming to ratify all instruments to demonstrate our commitment to the promotion and protection of human rights. 


  • In October 2021, Maldives successfully concluded the CEDAW Committee’s review session on the Sixth Periodic Report submitted under the Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW).


  • In November/December 2021, Maldives also hosted the virtual LDCs/SIDS Trust Fund Workshop for the Asia Region, in collaboration with HRC and the Office of the High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR).




  • Adopt a whole-of-society approach to the promotion and protection of human rights.
  • Strengthen efforts to achieve gender equality and eliminate violence against women and girls.
  • Promote and protect the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment.
  • Continue to promote youth advocacy.
  • Strengthen national mechanisms and government institutions to mainstream and uphold human rights.
  • Engage constructively at the Human Rights Council and with its mechanisms and contribute meaningfully to the treaty body strengthening process.
  • Promote inclusivity at the Human Rights Council by encouraging the participation of under-represented UN Member States.

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