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Govt To Fast Track Child Act Amendments

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KUALA LUMPUR: The Government is pushing for the gazetting of the recently amended Child Act in support of calls for the new legislations to be enforced as soon as possible.

“We have studied the proposals that the provisions are enforced immediately.

“Discussions have been held with the Government’s legal adviser and the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry on the matter,” Home Minister Datuk Seri Dr Ahmad Zahid Hamidi (pix) told reporters at Dewan Negara lobby.

He said that gazetting of the Child Act (Amendment) 2015 would allow the authorities to address weakness in enforcing laws to better protect children.

“We don’t want a situation where we get muddled trying to address a situation after it has already happened.

“We need to curb the problems that may arise in the future,” he added.

Ahmad Zahid said the fast-track implementation of the amendments was separate from efforts to enact new laws to address the issue of online sexual predators.

The Child Act (Amendment) 2015 was passed by the Dewan Rakyat in April this year with several non-governmental organisations calling for its enforcement as soon as possible.

The amendments saw the introduction of better protection for children and harsher punishments for child neglect and abuse.

These include protection against trafficking for immoral purposes, physical or emotional injury, exploitative acts such as begging and street-hawking, and improper supervision of a child.

The new laws also contain further restrictions on media reporting on children suspected of committing offences and prohibiting the canning of children.

The amendments also called for the setting up of a Child Registry to keep tabs on convicted child abusers.

A National Council for Children will also be set up to better deal with issues on the care, protection, rehabilitation, development, and participation of children.

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