RIGHTS OF CHILDREN
Office of the Children's Commissioner
The appointment of Malaysia 1st Children Commissioner (CC) in August 2019 aims to enhance the rights of children in Malaysia. The Office of the Children’s Commissioner (OCC), Human Rights Commission of Malaysia is an independent office that is responsible for empowering and protecting the rights of children as set out in the United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC). The CC’s main role is to protect and promote human rights of all children under 18 throughout Malaysia, regardless of their status.
The CC focuses on the promotion and protection of children’s rights, as prescribed by CRC. The CC works to ensure that the four (4) core principles of CRC which are: non-discrimination; devotion to the best interests of the child; the right to life, survival and development; and respect for the views of the child, are observed. Further, the CC’s role is to empower child-related laws through powers under Act 597 (the Act).
Since the office came into full force in May 2020, OCC had organized numerous programmes and activities such as online dialogues and consultations with civil society organisations and government agencies in Sabah, Sarawak and peninsular Malaysia; attended meetings with several Ministers in Putrajaya dan Kuching; and conducted monitoring visits to children welfare homes and alternative schools in Sarawak and baby hatch centre in Petaling Jaya. As a result of all the online dialogues and consultations, meetings and visits, OCC had successfully forwarded all the issues and recommendations collated to the relevant Ministers for their further action. OCC will monitor if the said Ministries have fully attended to the issues raised, and to further advocate the Government and advise ministries to give their commitment to children’s rights issues.
OCC further wishes to establish a Children’s Consultative Council, in the near future, consisting of children themselves, who will inform CC on problems faced by children and their grievances.
For its longer term vision, OCC hopes there will be “education for all children” policy to be implemented by 2025. For that to be achieved, OCC needs to ensure all children which are entitled by law to have a Malaysian’s citizenship are given such right before 2023.