THE PROTECTION OF RIGHTS : CHILDREN IN NEED OF PROTECTION AND REHABILITATION IN MALAYSIA INTRODUCTION Children are our future. Every child has the right to a safe, happy and content childhood notwithstanding of their social origin, sex, religion, where and to whom they were born. This is the core principle enshrined in The United Nations Convention on the Rights of the Child (UNCRC), the most widely adopted international human rights treaty of the time.  Malaysia too, is committed to provide the best protection and care for the Children, who forms 35% of the population.
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Since the ratification of UNCRC in 1995, Malaysia has taken various steps in executing its responsibilities and commitments under the Convention. This includes the enforcement of the Child Act 2001 [Act 611]. Three specific laws in Malaysia relating to children were amalgamated in Act 611 namely, the Protection Act 1991 that focuses on child abuse and neglect cases; the Juvenile Court Act 1947 (Act 90) that deals with children in conflict with the law as well as the Juvenile Court procedures; and the Women and Girls Protection Act 1973 (Act 106) that provides the protection for the women and young girls who are involved in immoral activities. The sexual crime rate among youth are increasing every year. Apart from the common crimes like molest and rape cases, prostitution, immoral sexual activities, pregnant out of wedlock involving children are indubitably alarming. Until June 2013, 141 underage girls were rescued from the promiscuous sexual activities and prostitution throughout Malaysia and over the past year, a total of 230 children were rescued and sent to a reform school. For these children, it is never too late for them to be protected and rehabilitated. Part VI of Act 611, taken from Act 106 with further improvement, specifically articulates the provisions for the children in need of protection and rehabilitation. Section 38 of Act 611 defines a child is in need of protection and rehabilitation if he or she: (a) is being induced to perform any sexual act, or is in any physical or social environment which may lead to the performance of such act; (b) lives in or frequents any brothel or place of assignation; or (c) is habitually in the company or under the control of brothel-keepers or procurers or persons employed or directly interested in the business carried on in brothels or in connection with prostitution. In addition, under Section 41, if there is a reasonable cause to believe that the child is being either threatened, intimidated, or to be confined or detained by another for the purposes of prostitution or having sexual intercourse or for any immoral purposes; or the child is pregnant out of wedlock, it is deemed under the law that the child is in urgent need of protection.
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