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Children's Rights

Children's Rights|Rights in Malaysia

 

All people have basic human rights and children are no different in this respect - every child and young person under the age of 18 has rights, no matter who they are, where they live or what they believe in. These rights are protected by an international agreement called the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child.  This Convention was adopted by the United Nations (UN) in 1989. All of the countries in the world have now signed up to it (or "ratified" it) except for Somalia and the United States of America. A convention is an agreement between countries to obey the same law.

The Convention on the Rights of the Child is needed because people under the age of 18 need special care and protection that adults don't need. Everyone under 18 years of age has all the rights it contains, whatever their race, religion, abilities, whatever they think or say, whatever type of family they come from. And every child, young person and adult has a responsibility to make sure that the way they behave doesn't stop others from getting their rights.

The Convention is divided into three parts containing 54 articles.  At its heart lies a commitment to the principle that “In all actions concerning children … the best interests of the child shall be a primary consideration” (as outlined in Article 3). It covers four broad areas of rights:

*  Survival Rights – including adequate living standards and access to medical services

*  Development Rights – including education, access to information, play, leisure and cultural activities, freedom of thought, conscience and religion

*  Protection Rights – covering all forms of exploitation and cruelty, arbitrary separation from family and abuses of the criminal justice system

*  Participation Rights – including the freedom to express opinions and to have a say in matters affecting a young person’s life

Governments are responsible for making these rights available to everyone, and making sure that all parents and children know about and understand the Convention. Adults and governments should work together to make sure all children get all their rights. All organisations concerned with children should work towards what is best for them.

Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future.   ~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy ~
 

 

Rights in Malaysia

Malaysia ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child in 1995 and declared the provisions applicable as long as they are in conformity with the Constitution, national laws and national policies of the government, with expressed reservations with respect to articles 1, 2, 7, 13, 14, 15, [...], 28, [paragraph 1 (a)] 37, [...] of the Convention. That means that our government now has to make sure that every child has all the rights in the convention, except for the expressed reservations.

Malaysia is committed to children's rights and welfare. Around 20% of the yearly national budget is allocated to education, which is provided free for children through age 17. A variety of programs provides low cost health care for most children.

The Child Act 2001 was enforced in August 2002. In the preamble, it is stated that children should be accorded special care and their welfare given paramount importance. The Act is an amalgamation of three comprehensive Acts now repealed - the Juvenile Courts Act 1947, Women and Young Girls Protection Act 1973 and Child Protection Act 1991. The Child Act 2001 affords protection for children and tackles the problems of juvenile delinquency, child prostitutions and children out of control. It imposes severe punishments for child trafficking, abuse, molestation, neglect, and abandonment. It also mandates the formation of children's courts.

There are several other laws affecting the welfare of children in Malaysia such as the Adoption Ordinance 1960, Child Care Centres Act 1984 and Domestic Violence Act 1994.

 

 

 

 

Malaysia has created an enabling environment for children, which includes statutory institutions, a dedicated non-governmental coalition and an increasingly aware public.

As part of its commitment to the protection and well-being of its children, the Malaysian Government has ratified and signed the following Conventions:

Convention on the Rights of the Child: 19 March 1995

Convention on the Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination against Women: 4 August 1995

International Labour Organisation Convention 138 (min. age for admission to employment): 1997

International Labour Organisation Convention 182 (worst form of child labour): 10 November 2000

Convention against Transnational Organised Crime: 26 September 2002 (signed)

On a national level, Malaysia consolidated three of its previous laws on child protection and juvenile courts to form the 2001 Child Act which makes reporting of child abuse mandatory.

[UNICEF Malaysia]

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“Children are the world's most valuable resource and its best hope for the future”

~ John Fitzgerald Kennedy ~

 

Webpage design: mjgsham     Text edited by: crasham    Special thanks to Sharon of KKIP Communications, and everyone else who assisted in one way or another....

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Page last updated:
 13 June 2009