PROGRESS FOR CHILDREN, 2008-2010
In the 2008-2010 Country Program, UNICEF set about improving the availability of knowledge and data on issues affecting children in Malaysia to build a firm base for policies that could address remaining social gaps. A number of issues were successfully addressed, specifically in the areas of health, education and protection:
§ The Supplementary Reading program (SRP) was initiated by the Ministry of Education and UNICEF so children from vulnerable communities in Sabah and Sarawak have the learning resources required for quality education.
§ Scaling up teaching and learning methodologies for Orang Asli children is a program that seeks to attract and empower them to continue attending school while also promoting their cultural knowledge.
§ With UNICEF support, a database that links to the Education Management Information System (EMIS) has been developed to identify and track out-of-school children.
§ Our School Emergency Preparedness and Response program was applied by schools in Malaysia during the early 2011 floods that affected several northern and eastern regions of Peninsular Malaysia. It was also selected by UNICEF as one of the most notable innovations for children worldwide.
§ UNICEF has been working with the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development to develop the Social Work Competency Standards which will equip and professionalise the human resource capacity of the government to deliver quality primary, secondary and tertiary interventions in child protection.
§ The UNICEF Safe School program with the Ministry of Education and Help University aims to educate teachers, school administrators, parents, and students on social skills and problem-solving strategies that contribute to safe school environments, free from bullying.
§ UNICEF’s Get on Board digital campaign against child abuse in 2010 empowered the public to take action at the individual and community levels to protect children from abuse. It was carried out with a broad coalition of partners in government, the corporate sector, civil society organisations and individuals.
§ Awareness about violence against children has increased among adolescents and the general public in Malaysia due to continuous efforts in disseminating information.
HIV and AIDS
§ The role of UNICEF as a convener and a key player on the issues of women, children and young people affected by AIDS has led to consultative roundtable discussions and collaboration between the Ministry of Education, Ministry of Health, and Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, and stakeholders in civil society.
§ In 2008 UNICEF launched a joint report with the Ministry of Health entitled “Women and Girls Confronting HIV and AIDS”, which highlighted the issue of the feminisation of the HIV epidemic in Malaysia.
§ UNICEF, together with Salt Media Consultancy, organised a media partnership with the editors and writers of Dewan Bahasa and Pustaka to strengthen awareness and media reporting on HIV and AIDS to reduce AIDS-related stigma against affecting children and families.
Social Policy and Partnerships
§ A formal partnership with the Companies Commission of Malaysia (SSM) which led to the launch of the first Best Business Practice Circular and toolkit on child care centres at private workplaces.
§ Research projects which contribute to positive policy changes for children include the Malaysian Child Index, the Child-Injury Database and the 2009 Malaysia Situation Analysis.
§ Successful communication of the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC) and its contents have helped facilitate youth participation programs and raised awareness on child rights for the media and the general public.
Updated: 27 May 2011