More reforms needed for child protection, Hannah Yeoh admits

More reforms needed for child protection, Hannah Yeoh admits

PUTRAJAYA,. Much more than just the Child Registry is needed when it comes to children’s issues, said Women, Family and Community Development Deputy Minister Hannah Yeoh.

Yeoh said the Welfare Department, which comes under the ministry, has a small unit called the child department that looks into such matters.

“Children’s matters require more than a department’s strength. Worse still, the department has so much on its plate,” she told Malay Mail in a recent interview.

She said the Welfare Department is also in charge of many other things like disaster relief, financial welfare assistance as well as licensing of day care centres.

Yeoh said the best solution is to set up an agency specifically to look into all matters pertaining to children.

“The goal is to have one agency to look after children’s welfare,” she said.

Yeoh said that the setting up of a Child Commission will streamline a lot of plans to protect children, including overseeing the child agency.

The commissioner of the commission will have to work with all relevant agencies dealing with children.

She said in light of so many cases of child abuse and many other cases involving child victims, the need for prompt action is needed.

Yeoh said there are more and more challenges faced by the ministry when it comes to protecting children as the threats are also becoming more advanced.

“The kind of crimes children are falling victims to are getting more sophisticated by the day. We need to do something to combat this,” she said.

Recently more calls were made to form the commission after the marriage between a 41-year-old man and an 11-year old girl was reported.

Last month, the issue of unregistered child minders came into the spotlight after the death of a baby found stuffed in a zipper bag and hidden inside a freezer in his babysitter’s house.