Over 50 calls received on child abuse in a year

Rokiah Mahmud & Aziz Idris

From January 2020 to January 2021, 53 of the calls made to Talian Anak 121 involved disturbing cases of abuse, negligence, child custody and inattentiveness at child care centres.

Within the same period, Talian Anak 121 and the Welfare Line 141 received 16,244 calls, of which 333 were complaints.

This was highlighted by Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Yang Berhormat Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful Mulok Dato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin during the Legislative Council (LegCo) session yesterday.

“The Community Development Department (JAPEM) has administered to 206 vulnerable children, including 50 protection cases and 14 rehabilitation cases. These children were placed at the Welfare Home Complex (KRK),” he said.

Insya Allah, the Protection Home Building Project will be completed by November 2021, as a shelter for 77 children.

“In the aspects of children welfare and protection, the National Framework on Child Protection was launched in December 2020, while the first phase of the Register of Children and Young Persons in Need of Protection (RCYPP) will be completed by April 2021.

“Under the Childcare Centre Act, 53 childcare centres have been given licences,” the minister said.

Meanwhile, on the large number of child abuse cases, Yang Berhormat Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan said the number should remain zero and no children should ever go through such an ordeal.

Responding to a suggestion by LegCo member Yang Berhormat Haji Tahamit bin Haji Nudin to organise educational campaigns in raising awareness among families and communities on the impact of physical abuse towards children, he believed that education can improve the detection and prevention of all forms of child abuse.

Improving the country’s child protection system, the Ministry of Culture, Youth and Sports (MCYS) has launched the National Framework on Child Protection (NFCP) to develop the existing child protection ecosystem from 2020 to 2024.

NFCP focusses on children and young persons (CYP) with the strategies for addressing priorities on child protection through a whole-of-nation approach.

The minister said, “As we continue to foster a safer environment for children, it will address other social issues such as abuse, deprivation or sexual exploitation. Alongside our strategic partners, the ministry will advocate for the well-being and development of children, while ensuring every child will grow up in a safe and nurturing environment,” he said.

To further increase enforcement of laws and policies to protect children, the MCYS will establish a centralised database – Register of Children and Young Persons in Need of Protection – by next month, where all cases related to violence against children will be recorded in it, enabling monitoring of child protection cases by all agencies.