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Statement from Marianne Clark-Hattingh, UNICEF Representative in Malaysia on FC Decision on Unilateral Conversion


KUALA LUMPUR, 31 January 2018 - UNICEF welcomes the unanimous decision by the Federal Court declaring that the consent of both parents is needed to change the religion of their children. This decision is in line with the “best interests of the child” principle upheld by the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child.

Article 3 states that the best interests of the child must be the primary concern of all adults making decisions on their children’s behalf. All adults should do what is best for children, considering the impact of their decisions. The “best interests of the child” is a fundamental principle in the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child which Malaysia is party to.

Unilateral conversions ultimately tear families apart and the ensuing custody battles are often long and painful for all concerned, most notably the children themselves.



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