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Abuse and neglect

© UNICEF Malaysia/2006/Nadchatram

UNICEF recognises that poor family environment, especially those where children are exposed to physical, mental and sexual abuse, as well as neglect, leave children vulnerable to major physical and emotional problems later in life.

When children are neglected and uncared for, they tend to drop out of school and may eventually run away from home.

Without caregivers, these children may be exposed to great risk on the streets, and some will be sexually exploited or used in dangerous labour. These children may be traded as commodities, regardless of the damage to their physical health and emotional integrity.

Child Act 2001
UNICEF supports the implementation of the Child Act 2001, especially through development of operational procedures for child care professionals. These include trainings and workshops on development of child and family welfare systems, focusing particularly on services for young parents; respite care and fostering programs; referral processes and hotlines for reporting suspected abuse cases; and social worker best practices.

In 2006, under the leadership of the Ministry of Women, Family and Community Development, UNICEF formed strategic partnerships with the Malaysian Association for the Protection of Children, and the Royal Malaysian Police to strengthen the professional framework to prevent child abuse and neglect in Malaysia.  Activities are also designed to increase the capacity of social workers in delivering protection services in the court process.

Engaging with Religious Leaders
UNICEF is also working with religious leaders and faith-based organisations to promote zero tolerance on violence against children. Malaysia's Department of Islamic Development (JAKIM) will collaborate with UNICEF to review existing pre-marriage and parenting training modules to include information and education to prevent violence, exploitation and abuse of children.

 

 
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