Issues of concern affecting children in Malaysia
Despite rapid progress and economic gains, some challenges remain for children and youth. Underpinning these is the issue of disparity, social and economic, resulting in the marginalisation of some communities.
The following issues and its impact on children and young people are of particular concern today to the Government and UNICEF:
§ Some 600,000 children under 15 years are vulnerable to the multiple deprivations of child poverty.*
§ More than half a million children in Sabah and well over 100,000 in Sarawak and Kelantan were classified as poor.*
§ Some 125,000 Malaysian children are still out of school and do not have access to primary education. This figure does not include refugees, undocumented and stateless children.*
§ Only 66 per cent of marginalised children between 7-19 years in remote areas of Sabah and Sarawak attended school in 2007.*
§ Reported child abuse cases have increased from 1,800 per year in 2005 to 2,789 in 2009.**
§ New HIV cases among women and girls have increased 4 per cent in 1995 to 18 per cent in 2010.***
§ 2000 Census disclosed that some 6,800 girls and 4,600 boys under 15 years were recorded as married.
§ 5,955 children in Malaysia were charged with criminal offences in 2006, the majority aged 16 and 17.**
§ Shortage of parental time for child-rearing and care of young children and the lack of quality services for early childhood care and development.
§ A widening gap between the richest 20% and poorest 20% and its possible implications on child survival, development, protection and participation.
§ Migration of people movement resulting in large numbers of unregistered, sometimes invisible children.
* Source: Malaysia Millennium Development Goals 2010 Report