Definition of Youth

The national youth policy (2003) of the Maldives defines youth as between 18-35 years.


Marriageable Age

  • Opposite Sex
  • Same Sex
  • Without parental consent
  • with parental consent
  • Male
  • 18
  • 0
  • XX

Candidacy Age

Criminal Responsibility

Minimum Age
No minimum age exists. A child under 10, ,"shall not be subjected to the full punishment" and it is ,"more desired" that the act not be considered an offence. Source:  Penal Code of Maldives

Majority Age


This has been raised from 16 based on recommendations made by the Committee on the Rights of the Child. Source: UN Child Rights Periodic Report (2006)

Voting Age


Situation of Young People

Literacy Rates

Both sexes (15-24) %
  • 100.00% Male (15-24) %
  • 99.51% Female (15-24) %

Net Enrolment Rate

Secondary School
Both sexes %
  • 46.41%Male %
  • 53.09% Female %

Situation of Young People

Prevalence of HIV

Male (15-24) %
Female (15-24) %

Tobacco Use

Consumed any smokeless or smoking tobacco product at least once 30 days prior to the survey.
Both sexes (13-15) %
  • 8.50% Male (13-15) %
  • 3.40% Female (13-15) %
  • Year: 2010
  • Source: WHO

Policy & Legislation

Is there a national youth policy?
The national youth policy of Maldives is from 2003. A 2005 youth study provides context.

The national youth policy (2003) was first drafted in 2003, and requires a redraft every three years. The last redraft was in 2012 and is valid until 2015.

The policy’s vision is that young people are able to contribute to the development of the country and have fair opportunities to develop themselves.

It focuses on nine strategic areas: 1) Education; 2) Shelter; 3) Employment; 4) Sports and Recreation; 5) Empowering young people in the society; 6) Health; 7) Crime; 8) Environment; 9) Empowering the youth sector.

As a member of the Commonwealth of Nations, Maldives is a signatory of The Commonwealth Plan of Action for Youth Empowerment (PAYE) 2006-2015. It lists 13 action points for member nations, including youth empowerment, youth governance, participation, gender equality, education, health and ICT.

Public Institutions

Is there a governmental authority
(ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth?
The Ministry of Youth and Sports is responsible for youth affairs. Previously, the Youth Department within the Ministry of Human Resources, Youth and Sports was responsible for ensuring youth participation in development, and for providing the necessary opportunities for young people. However, in 2013, upon the appointment of a new Cabinet, the Ministry’s responsibilities changed to “Youth & Sports.” The Ministry’s new mandate is unclear, however it does provides youth centres, trainings and employment-focused activities.

Youth and Representation

Does the country have a national youth organisation / association (council, platform, body)?
The National Youth Council (NYC) previously acted as “the national coordinating body for youth affairs” and advised the then Minister of Human Resources, Youth and Sports (MHRYS). The NYC was fully appointed by the minister and did not include youth NGOs or other youth associations. However, the MHRYS no longer exits and neither the NYC website nor official Facebook Page have been active since 2012. The NYC and other organisations are listed as members of the Commonwealth Youth Council.

Budget & Spending

What is the budget allocated to the governmental authority (ministry, department or office) that is primarily responsible for youth and/or youth programming?
According to the Government Budget in Statistics, the approved budget for the Ministry of Youth & Sports in 2014 is MVR 195.6 million (USD 12.7 million). However, the proportion spent specifically on youth is unclear. According to the World Bank, Maldives spent 15.76% of its government expenditure and 6.82% of its GDP on education provision in 2011.
Total Expenditure on Education as a Percentage of Government Spending and GDP

  • % of GDP
  • % of gov. expenditure

Source: World Bank
Gaps indicate missing data from the original data source. (Accessed May 2014).

Additional Background

The BBC Country Profile – Maldives (2013) provides an overview of the geographical and economic situation:
The Maldives is an Islamic republic which lies off the Indian sub-continent. It is made up of a chain of nearly 1,200 islands, most of them uninhabited.
None of the coral islands measures more than 1.8 metres (six feet) above sea level, making the country vulnerable to a rise in sea levels associated with global warming.
With its abundant sealife and sandy beaches, The Maldives is portrayed by travel companies as a tropical paradise.
The economy revolves around tourism, and scores of islands have been developed for the top end of the tourist market. Maldivian fisherman carrying catch
The Maldives economy relies on tourism and fisheries.
Aside from the island capital Male, outsiders are only permitted onto inhabited islands for brief visits, thereby limiting their impact on traditional Muslim communities.