A fair chance

Every child deserves a fair chance to grow happy and healthy in Malaysia.

malaysian children eating, learning
UNICEFMalaysia/2019/Nooraini

What is the challenge?

What if all children had the same opportunities to fulfill their potential, grow into upstanding members of society and contribute to the rich landscape of our country?

But that is not the reality. In truth, our world is unfair and children are faced with many different challenges from the environment, and their situations. This inequality creates stumbling blocks for disadvantaged children from the day they are born.

Relative poverty among Children is 17.5%, high for an OECD country like Malaysia

There are many factors that contribute to a child being disadvantaged, struggling to survive and succeed in life. In Malaysia, these include:

  • Uneven access to documentation that enables access to services
  • Poverty and urban deprivation
  • Living with disabilities
Two young boys playing whilst grandma watches
UNICEFMalaysia/2017/Hanisah

In 2017, UNICEF’s ‘Children Without’ report highlighted the situation of children who live in low cost flats, right in the heart of the cities. Despite the National Poverty Rate being less than one percent, the study found that pockets of poverty remain and children in these flats experienced the effects of multi-dimensional poverty from malnutrition to reduced access to education.

How can we fix this?

Malaysia has made much progress in ensuring the well-being of its people but there are still areas for concern.

Policies have a critical impact on a child’s well-being and in order for it to take into account their needs; we need to make the system as child-friendly as possible. 

To do this, UNICEF focuses on policy that impact children the most. In Malaysia, we focus on well-being, social inclusion and disparity reduction, and enhanced engagement and partnerships for child rights. We support social policy work in the country through:

  • Research: includes activities such as studies, data collection, data analysis, and preparation of papers, reports, booklets, and books.
  • Dissemination: such as: organizing talks, conferences, seminars, and publication of the papers, reports, booklets, and books.  
  • Building alliances involves engaging in building partnership with different institutions, academics, policy analysts, social scientists, policy makers, leaders, diplomats, and social figures both at the national and international level.

All these initiatives work to bring stakeholders together; ask critical questions; and spur collaboration to push for positive change for children in Malaysia.

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