Adopted girl can’t go to school

Source: The Star Online

Picture of Darshana

No entry: Darshana standing outside the school opposite her home. Pic taken from The Star Online.

SEREMBAN: While many children started their classes last week, Darshana could only watch them from the school fence.

This is as far as she could go because under a new policy by the Immigration Department, she cannot attend school.

Darshana’s parents, who adopted her when she was just a few days old, are now in limbo.

B. Ganesan said his daughter was classified as a non-citizen and due to this, could not be enrolled in any school. Read more

Court allows three Malaysia-born boys to continue final citizenship bid

Source: The Malay Mail Online

The Palace of Justice in Putrajaya – File pix

PUTRAJAYA, Sept 11 — Three Malaysia-born children were today allowed to pursue their final bid to be recognised as citizens instead of continuing their lives as stateless persons.

The Federal Court granted leave for the three boys to proceed with their appeal against the Court of Appeal’s previous rulings to uphold the government’s decisions to deny them citizenship.

Justice Tan Sri Hasan Lah, who led the Federal Court panel today, had earlier noted that there was a Court of Appeal ruling which was different from the decision in the three cases today.

“Because there are conflicting decisions in the lower court on this issue, settle it once and for all,” he said during the hearing for leave to appeal. Read more

Changing mindset to catch crooks and bullies

Source: The Star Online

GIVING our children an avenue to anonymously report wrongdoing at school is a good thing, right? As it is, most adults are reluctant to speak out against the offences and misconduct that they see. They fear that this will lead to inconvenience, alienation or worse, reprisals.

Imagine how much harder it is for kids to tell teachers or school heads about other students being bullies or playing truant.

This is why it is a good idea that all schools must now provide a complaint box for tip-offs on student misconduct and criminal activity. And yet, some parents and teachers appear to be unenthusiastic about this move. Read more

Child Migrants, Refugees Especially Vulnerable to Violence during Humanitarian Crises, Speakers Tell Third Committee, as Debate on Children Concludes

Source: ReliefWeb

GENERAL ASSEMBLY THIRD COMMITTEE
SEVENTY-FIRST SESSION, 15TH & 16TH MEETINGS (AM & PM)

The Third Committee (Social, Humanitarian and Cultural) concluded its general discussion on the rights of children today, with delegates describing progress and challenges on a range of issues pertaining to child health, education and protection.

While several delegates shared progress their Governments had made in improving legislative and social mechanisms to prevent violence against children, many were concerned by the growing threat posed by humanitarian emergencies, and in particular, the migrant and refugee crisis.

The representative of Bulgaria, which was both a transit and host country for thousands of refugees and migrants, reminded Member States that “a child is first a child, and after that, a refugee or migrant”. As such, they had rights that must be protected by all. Guatemala’s delegate was particularly concerned by the vulnerability of unaccompanied children migrating across the Americas. Her Government had established consular services in Mexico and the United States to help protect those youth, but she also urged States to stop detaining minors. Similarly, El Salvador’s speaker called for a human rights-based approach to dealing with the situation of child migrants. Echoing those concerns, the representative of the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC) reminded authorities of their obligations under international law to prevent family separation and to avoid detaining children. Read more

Youth parliament member moots chemical castration for pedophiles

Source: Asian Correspondent

A MEMBER of Malaysia’s Youth Parliament has called on the government to introduce chemical castration as the punishment for sexual offences, following the slew of sex abuse cases against children and a heightened awareness of pedophilia.

On Thursday, Mohd Firdaus Ahmad, from the northern state of Kedah, proposed the government take drastic measures to curb such crimes against children, national news agency Bernama reported.

He said prevention of sex crimes against children could be aided with severe punishment.

“In May, Indonesian President Joko Widodo was reported to have authorized chemical castration for convicted child sex offenders. Such punishment is also practiced in a number of countries like South Korea, Poland, Russia and some states in the United States,” he was quoted as saying.

Chemical castration involves the usage of drugs to reduce libido in men, stemming their sex drive and their ability to be sexually aroused. This form of punishment remains a widely debated topic in neighbouring Indonesia, as opponents have raised ethical and human rights concerns. Read more

Malaysian man charged with rape escapes jail after marrying 14-year-old victim

Source: Thompson Reuters Foundation

children-rape-reuters

A girl wearing a hijab waits at the Shah Alam stadium during celebrations of Maulidur Rasul, or the birth of Prophet Muhammad, outside Kuala Lumpur, January 14, 2014. REUTERS/Samsul Said

JAKARTA, Aug 3 (Thomson Reuters Foundation) – A Malaysian man charged with raping a 14-year-old girl has avoided prison after he married her in a case that has sparked anger from rights groups and calls for a ban on child marriage and justice for victims of sexual violence.

Ahmad Syukri Yusuf, 22, was charged with statutory rape of the girl late last year and faced up to 30 years in jail and whipping for the offence, but he later married the teenager under Islamic law, according to prosecutor Ahmad Fariz Abdul Hamid.

The prosecutor said a court in Kuching, in Malaysia’s eastern state of Sarawak ruled there was no need to proceed with the case after Ahmad Syukri submitted a marriage certificate and the girl withdrew the complaint.

Delivered last week, the court ruling prompted fury from women’s rights groups.

“It is very common for rapists to marry their survivors, especially when they are underage, to cover up their crime,” Kuala Lumpur-based Women’s Aid Organisation spokeswoman Tan Heang Lee told Thomson Reuters Foundation.

“There is usually a high risk in this kind of cases that these girls will be subject to a lifetime of sexual abuse. Her marriage is basically an extension to rape,” she added. Read more

Child Act (Amendment) 2016 gazetted

Source: FMT

The amended Act includes the child registry which will now contain records of convicts who commit crimes against children to allow screenings to be conducted.

PUTRAJAYA: The Child Act (Amendment) 2016 with four main amendments – child registry, community service order (CSO), a family-based care and heavier penalty – was gazetted yesterday after obtaining the consent of Yang di-Pertuan Agong Tuanku Abdul Halim.

Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rohani Abdul Karim said the ministry would conduct an awareness campaign to ensure that the public and all agencies were ready before enforcing the Act.

“This is good news for the ministry after three years, and after various meetings were held to improve the Act and it took into account current issues related to pedophilia, etc,” she told reporters at the ministry’s Aidilfitri gathering here today.

She said the child registry would now contain records of convicts who committed crimes against children to allow screenings to be conducted on individuals working with children as an added safety measure.

Meanwhile, the CSO is a rehabilitation programme for children who are involved in crime and adult offenders, including the mother, father and guardians, who abuse or neglect their children.

She said the amendment would also increase the fines and enable prison sentences to be raised to RM50,000 and 20 years for offences under Section 31.

A call to action — #FightUnfair

Source: UNICEF

The life prospects of children trapped in intergenerational cycles of poverty and disadvantage might seem like a matter of chance – an unlucky draw in a lottery that determines which children will live or die, which have enough to eat, can go to school, see a doctor or play in a safe place.

But while children’s origins are largely a matter of fate, the opportunities available to them are not. They are the result of choices – choices made in our communities, societies, international institutions and, most of all, our governments.

We know that the right choices can change the lives of millions of children – because we have seen it. National action, new partnerships and global commitments have helped drive tremendous – even transformational – change. Children born today are significantly less likely to live in poverty than those who were born 15 years ago. They are over 40 per cent more likely to survive to their fifth birthday and more likely to be in school.

But far too many children have not shared in this progress.

Reaching these forgotten children must be at the centre of our efforts to achieve the Sustainable Development Goals, which pledge to leave no one behind. The 2030 goals cannot be reached if we do not accelerate the pace of our progress in reaching the world’s most disadvantaged, vulnerable and excluded children.

Unless we act now, by 2030:

  • Over 165 million children will live on no more than US$1.90 a day – 9 out of 10 will live in sub-Saharan Africa.
  • Almost 70 million children under the age of 5 will die of largely preventable causes – and children in sub-Saharan Africa will be 10 times as likely to die as those from high-income countries.
  • More than 60 million children aged 6 to 11 will be out of school – roughly the same number as today.
  • 750 million women will have been married as children. Read more

Creating Safe Spaces for Children

ProjekLayang2_Workshop

The rising incidents involving violence against children, especially child sexual abuse can feel overwhelming for adults who are entrusted to protect and care for them. Often, this sense of being overwhelmed exists because of the lack of information about ways to protect our children. Educating and equipping ourselves with the necessary knowledge and skill is the first step towards creating safer environments for children.

This one-day introductory workshop focuses of the prevention of child sexual abuse.

The workshop will begin by providing participants with a space to understand and explore the essence of child rights, especially a child’s right to protection.

Next, participants will learn about what constitutes child sexual abuse.
• Is it just rape?
• Are there other acts that fall within the definition of child sexual abuse?
• Are girls the only ones affected by this? Or are boys vulnerable to abuse as well?

Through this process, participants will also learn about the processes, nuances and dynamics involved in child sexual abuse. Having understood the processes involved when child sexual abuse happens, participants will then briefly explore some useful skills to have in order to be able to help a child who is facing sexual abuse.

• How do you talk to the child?
• What can you do if a child shares that he/she is being sexually abused?
These are some questions that we will try to answer.

As this is an introductory workshop, the sessions will introduce participants to the issue. There will be more areas and information to explore. Anyone who is interested to empower themselves further, can look forward to signing up for a more in depth workshop at a later date upon completion of this session.

Details of the workshop are as below:
Date: 25th June 2016
Time: 9am – 5pm (1 Day Workshop)
Location: The Canvas Group – Damansara Perdana
G6C, Jalan PJU 8/3A, Damansara Perdana,
47820 Petaling Jaya, Selangor, Malaysia

RM60 (waged) / RM40 (unwaged)
Limited spaces available. Open to adults 18 years and above

To register click : http://goo.gl/forms/muU6IRl4OXuttpTW2
For further queries please email us at projeklayanglayang@gmail.com

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Projek Layang-Layang consists of a group of Malaysians from various backgrounds dedicated to empowering adults with the knowledge and skills to create safer spaces for children in order to protect them from child sexual abuse.

SUHAKAM calls for robust law to protect Malaysian children

Source: NST Online

suhakamKUALA LUMPUR: The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has called for robust and specific national laws to protect children from all forms of sexual violence and abuse to be immediately put in place.

The rights body said they should include laws that would assist the police, prosecutors and enforcement agencies to pursue, disrupt and bring to justice those who attempted to sexually groom children online.

“Appropriate and necessary action at all levels must be immediately taken to criminalise and penalise effectively, in conformity with all relevant and applicable international instruments, all forms of sexual exploitation and sexual abuse of children,” Suhakam said in a statement today. Read more