Wednesday, October 13, 2010


Despite significant strides made by the Government in improving child protection measures in recent years, statistics from the Department of Social Welfare show a rise in reported child abuse cases in Malaysia. In 2008, child abuse reports rose to 2,780 from 2,279 in 2007 and 1,999 in 2006. Based on 2008 reported figures, neglect is the most common form of child abuse (952 cases), followed by physical abuse (863 cases). Sexual abuse accounted for 733 cases, of which 529 (72%) were incest. Failure to provide care and supervision has become the most frequent cause of death among children. In 2008, 58 cases of abandoned babies were also reported. Tragically, most child abusers of reported cases are parents, immediate family members, relatives or foster parents of the victims themselves. Child abuse is an offence in Malaysia, punishable under the Child Act (2001) and the Penal Code (revised 1997). Offenders may be liable to a maximum fine of RM 50,000 or up to 20 years imprisonment, or both depending on the offence. Offenders may also be punished with whipping in addition to the fine and/or imprisonment.

The 'Get on Board' Campaign is a two-month initiative by UNICEF and its partners to provide the Malaysian public with a platform to learn and respond to child abuse in the country. The digitally-driven Campaign, a first by UNICEF in the region, aims to strengthen public understanding of child abuse and neglect by providing information on the types of abuse, why it could happen and how to recognise symptoms in an abused child. It also hopes to empower the public to act on behalf of children by equipping them with protection solutions, parenting tips, action ideas and a directory of important resources. The Campaign will host a special “public” program on 20 November in conjunction with Universal Children’s Day and culminate on 10 December. The ‘Get on Board’ Exhibition at One Utama Shopping Mall - High Street (Ground Floor near Parkson) will remain open to the public from 7-10 October for visitors to learn more and register their support for the Campaign. Get on Board.

For more information, please contact:

Indra Kumari Nadchatram
UNICEF Media Malaysia
Tel +6012 292 6872,

Juana Jaafar
UNICEF Media Malaysia
Tel + 6012 530 9693,

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