Kajian: 30 peratus miskin bandar tidak dapat BR1M

Sumber: The Malay Mail Online

The testimonies highlight the longstanding problem dogging BR1M’s distribution process. — Bernama pic

KUANTAN, 26 Feb — Penduduk Kuantan Mohd Zamri Salleh, 46, ceria menunjukkan Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M) yang diterima selepas mengeluarkan daripada bank berdekatan hari ini.
Mohd Zamri amat bersyukur dengan bantuan BR1M ini dapat meringankan beban kos perbelanjaan keluarga dan penerima BR1M seluruh negara boleh mengambil bermula hari ini secara berperingkat. –fotoBERNAMA (2018) HAK CIPTA TERPELIHARA

KUALA LUMPUR, 28 Feb — Lebih 30 peratus isi rumah miskin bandar yang berpendapatan kurang RM4,000 terlepas Bantuan Rakyat 1Malaysia (BR1M).

Demikian menurut kajian agensi kanak-kanak Unicef yang menyatakan penerima mendakwa tidak tahu bantuan itu dan kurang maklumat layak atau tidak.

“Apabila ditanya adakah mereka menerima BR1M, mereka berkata sama ada tidak tahu mengenainya atau mereka tidak tahu bagaimana memohonnya,” kata Muhammed Abdul Khaled, ketua penyelidik DM Analytics.

“Tetapi ada juga kes mereka menerimanya tahun lalu [2016] tetapi tahun ini tidak [dapat lagi].”

Badan perunding ini menjalankan kajian bagi pihak Unicef, agensi kanak-kanak Pertubuhan Bangsa-Bangsa Bersatu (PBB), untuk BR1M tahun lalu.

Muhammed berkata dapatan kajiannya menunjukkan masalah yang dialami dalam  pengagihan projek BR1M, ia tidak sampai kepada sasaran yang diharapkan.

“Kami juga mendapati mereka yang tidak layak menerima BR1M, dapat… Sistem agihan yang cacat menyisihkan individu memerlukan tetapi memasukkan mereka yang tidak layak,” katanya kepada Malay Mail. Read more

Stunted children among urban poor at crisis level, Unicef report says

Source: The Malay Mail Online

KUALA LUMPUR, Feb 26 — A Unicef report has found higher levels of poverty and malnutrition among children living in low-cost housing in Kuala Lumpur compared to the national average.

The study by the United Nations agency titled “Children Without: A study of urban child poverty and deprivation in low-cost flats in Kuala Lumpur” found almost all children, or 99.7 per cent, living in low-cost flats in the capital city lived in relative poverty, while seven per cent lived in absolute poverty. The percentage of those suffering from problems linked to malnutrition was said to be alarming.

“Urban child poverty and deprivation in low-cost flats highlights how poverty impairs the opportunities of children living in low-cost flats in Kuala Lumpur to early education and makes them more vulnerable to malnourishment,” Unicef said in a statement released together with the report today. Read more

Drive to end child sexual crimes gets global nod

Source: The Star

PETALING JAYA: The story of Malaysia’s war against child sexual crimes has gained worldwide recognition, thanks to a global report by Unicef.

Its annual State of the World’s Children (SOWC) flagship report highlighted R.AGE’s Predator In My Phone campaign and the Government passing new laws against child sexual crimes last year.

“It’s not common to see government agencies, NGOs, celebrities and the media coming together for the same goal, but we saw that in Malaysia last year,” said Unicef Malaysia chief of communications Laurent Duvillier.

Read more

UNICEF Malaysia applauds passing of Sexual Offences Against Children Bill 2017

Source: New Straits Times

A bill passed in Parliament recently will provide legal framework to deal with “new” offences such as online grooming and child pornography. Pic from Astro Awani.

KUALA LUMPUR: A bill passed in Parliament recently will provide legal framework to deal with “new” offences such as online grooming and child pornography.

In welcoming the passing of the Sexual Offences Against Children Bill 2017, the United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) believes more internet-connected children in the country are vulnerable to new forms of abuse and threat.

The passing of the bill tabled by Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman was described by Unicef as a positive step towards protecting children from sexual crimes.

It also brings Malaysia closer into alignment with existing international legal frameworks such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child, a human rights treaty under the United Nations. Read more

Chong: No plans to abolish corporal punishment

Source: The Star Online

KUALA LUMPUR: The Education Ministry has no plans to abolish corporal punishment, said Deputy Education Minister Datuk Chong Sin Woon.

“We are open to discussions if the public feels that we should abolish corporal punishment, but for now, we have a different view,” he told reporters after handing out prizes to winners of the national level Nadi Ilmu Amalan Membaca (Nilam) here yesterday.

Chong was responding to renewed calls from the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) to abolish corporal punishment in schools following the death of 11-year-old Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gadaffi in a private religious school. Read more

Unicef urges corporal punishment ban, in light of Thaqif’s death

Source: FMT News

It's a misperception that physical punishment is the only way to instil discipline among children, says Unicef spokesperson in Malaysia. Pic from FMT News.

It’s a misperception that physical punishment is the only way to instil discipline among children, says Unicef spokesperson in Malaysia. Pic from FMT News.

KUALA LUMPUR: The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) has joined in the nationwide grief over the death of 11-year-old Mohamad Thaqif Amin Mohd Gaddafi, saying the incident underlines the need to ban corporal punishment in schools.

“The loss of Mohamad Thaqif to his family, school and society is a stark reminder of the negative consequences of corporal punishment and violence as a form of discipline,” said spokesperson for Unicef in Malaysia, Marianne Clark-Hattingh.

She said there were more effective methods which are “non-violent” to discipline children. Read more

Child marriage is not acceptable — Marianne Clark-Hattingh

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Marianne Clark-Hattingh is the UNICEF representative in Malaysia

Marianne Clark-Hattingh is the UNICEF representative in Malaysia

APRIL 6 — UNICEF is outraged by statements uttered during the debate on the Sexual Offences Against Children Bill 2017 claiming that it is okay for children to marry their rapists and that girls as young as 9 or 12 years old are ready for marriage.

It is not acceptable for a child to get married. Under no circumstances should child marriage be used as an excuse for rape or as a defence by alleged child sexual perpetrators to avoid facing prosecution. UNICEF does not condone in any way and is against using child marriage to cover up or ‘normalise’ rape, sexual abuse or teenage sex or worse to avoid the prosecution of perpetrators.

Scientific and medical evidence indicate that a girl who is not yet 18 is not physically and mentally ready to have children, to care for them and look after a family. Complications from pregnancy and childbirth are the leading cause of death among girls aged 15 to 19 worldwide, accounting for some 50,000 deaths each year. Girls between 10 -14 years of age are 5 times more likely than women aged 20 – 24 to die in pregnancy and childbirth.

Marriage before the age of 18 is a fundamental violation of human rights that impacts all aspects of a child’s life, especially girls. In Malaysia and elsewhere in the world, child marriage denies girl and boys their childhood, disrupts education, limits opportunities, increases the risk of violence and jeopardises health. Read more

In Unicef Malaysia poll, 95pc reject marrying a 14-year-old

Source: The Malay Mail Online

Can a 15-Year-Old Girl Be Legally Married? Infographic taken from The Atlantic, source: Clinton Foundation

KUALA LUMPUR, Aug 12 — A recent United Nations Children’s Emergency Fund (Unicef) Malaysia poll on child marriage found 95 per cent of respondents saying it is wrong for a man to marry a 14-year-old girl.

Unicef Malaysia representative Marianne Clark-Hattingh said the results of the survey were heartening as child marriages rob children of their childhood and is a violation of their rights.

“Child brides risk complications during childbirth and are prone to domestic violence and abuse,” she said in a statement today.

“For every year a girl is married before adulthood, her literacy reduces by 5.6 per cent. Their daughters too are more likely to drop out of school and marry young.

“Allowing children to grow into healthy, educated adults is not only right in principle but also in practice, for the child, the future of their family, and the sustainable and inclusive advancement of the nation,” she added.

The same survey also found that 86 per cent of respondents agreed that the minimum legal age for marriage in Malaysia should be 18 years and above, with almost 50 per cent of the female respondents saying it should be 21 years and above. Read more

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

What it’s Like to be Married at 7 Years Old

Source: Huffington Post

A view of Pol-e-Charkhi, as seen from near the house of Spengul’s mom. — Photo Shougofa Alikozay/Huffington Post

For this 37-year-old mother of five, life is the picture of enforced marriage: she barely scrapes by on less than a dollar a day and cannot afford to take any of her children to school.

“I don’t want my daughter to suffer the same limitations and problems I have. I want her to marry when she is old enough, not in her childhood,” Spengul’s mom tells me when we meet in her mud and clay house in the dusty village of Pol-e-Charkhi, on Kabul’s outskirts. She abides by a rural Afghan tradition of not using her own name, and instead is called after her first-born child.

Spengul’s mom was married at just 7 years old to a man then in his mid-20s. For her impoverished family, the marriage offered some financial relief and a form of protection. “I was a child. How could I be happy?” she says. “How can a child without her mom and dad be happy in a strange house?”

But her husband turned out to be mentally unstable and addicted to opium, meaning she suffered neglect, unbearable loneliness and heartbreak. As soon as she started menstruating, at age 13, she conceived their first child. But with her adolescent body not fully developed and prepared for birth, and with no money for food and medicine, the baby boy did not have much of a chance. He died after a mere four months.

As is common in underage mothers, Spengul’s mom suffered physically after her first birth, and did not have another child for some time. Girls who give birth under the age of 18 can face many problems, including diabetes, anemia and heart disease, health experts say. She was lucky to have survived, especially as she was under the age of 15: Afghanistan has the highest rate of maternal mortality in the world, largely owing to the custom of enforced marriage of young girls and women. Poverty and a lack of sufficient calories worsen the problem. Afghanistan has the fourth worst mortality rate for children under 5 in the world, after Angola, Benin and Chad, with some 101 children dying for every 1,000 live births, according to UNICEF. Read more