Statement by UNICEF Malaysia on the Citizenship Amendment Bill updates

25 March 2024
A toddler's foot

UNICEF commends the government’s welcome steps to not proceed with proposed amendments relating to Malaysia-born stateless children, and foundlings. This decision reflects a responsiveness to public concerns and underscores a commitment to upholding the rights and welfare of vulnerable populations, especially children. UNICEF acknowledges and supports such actions that prioritize the protection of children's rights, aligning with international conventions such as the Convention on the Rights of the Child.

It is equally important to recognize that the remaining regressive amendments will impact certain groups of children and pose a threat to their fundamental rights. The proposed amendments, if implemented, risk depriving these children of essential rights to healthcare, education, and family unity. To ensure the protection of children's rights and uphold the principles of equality and inclusivity, it is imperative that these remaining amendments undergo comprehensive review by a Parliamentary Special Select Committee (PSSC). This process will enable a thorough examination of the potential impact of the amendments and allow for the consideration of diverse perspectives and stakeholder input. By subjecting these amendments to full parliamentary scrutiny, we can uphold the integrity of the legislative process and make the best decision for all children in Malaysia.

UNICEF stands ready to support the government in this process, building on partnership and joint commitment for realizing children's rights, for an inclusive society where no child is left behind.

Media contacts

Rachel Choong
Communications Officer (Media)
UNICEF Malaysia
Tel: +60122932690


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