Child Act 2001
Malaysia enacted the Child Act 2001 [Act 611] to fulfill its obligation under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). Act 611 repealed the Juvenile Courts Act 1947 [Act 90], the Women and Girls Protection Act 1973 [Act 106] and the Child Protection Act 1991 [Act 468].
Act 611’s preamble provides that every child is entitled to protection and assistance in all circumstances without regard to distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, social origin or physical, mental or emotional disabilities or any status. The provisions of Act 611 are based on the four core principles of the CRC that is, non-discrimination, best interest of the child, the right to life, survival and development and respect for the views of the child.
In 2001, the Act also established the National Council for the Protection of Children, which advises the Government on child protection issues while the National Advisory and Consultative Council for Children acts as a national focal point for children's wellbeing and development.
Act 611 also requires the setting up of Child Protection Teams and Child Activity Centres at both state and district levels. Aimed at mobilising community participation in the implementation of preventive and rehabilitative programs, these initiatives are targeted for children at risk or children vulnerable to all forms of abuse and exploitation.
In terms of administration of juvenile justice, Act 611 provides for a procedure before the Court for Children which is child-friendly taking into account the mental and emotional maturity of a child.