Child Commissioner Should Be Established

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LONDON – A child commissioner should be established to monitor, coordinate and review laws on child sexual crimes.

Minister in the Prime Minister’s Department Datuk Seri Azalina Othman Said said the commissioner, who would move independently, would not only study the rules of the laws, but also in terms of element and policy of the laws on child sexual crimes.

The need to establish a child commissioner would be tabled before the cabinet next week following the visit to the Children’s Court in India and the United Kingdom, he told Malaysian reporters here Tuesday.

Azalina, together with the Prime Minister’s wife, Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor, who is also Permata Negara patron, and Women, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Rohani Abdul Karim, visited the Stratford Magistrate’s Court, which is also designated as a Domestic Violence Court.

Besides following proceedings at the court, they were also briefed by the court’s Legal Prosecution Manager, Paul Okebu, on handling of cases involving child sexual crimes.

They also held discussions with officers at the Crown Prosecution Service on the matter.

The Malaysian entourage also included Malaysian High Commissioner to the United Kingdom Datuk Ahmad Rasidi Hazizi and Communications and Multimedia Ministry secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Sharifah Zarah Syed Ahmad.

Before going to London, Azalina went to India to look at the implementation of the Children’s Court in the country.

On the setting up of Malaysia’s first Children’s Court, which would be at the Palace of Justice in Putrajaya, Azalina said the court, which would begin operation in June, would handle child sexual crime cases in Kuala Lumpur and Selangor.

For the purpose, she said,courses would be conducted for Sessions Court judges and the prosecutors beginning this Thursday. – BERNAMA