A Parliamentary Select Committee (PSC) has discussed the need for a new independent commission for children.
PSC on Women and Children Affairs and Social Development chairperson Azalina Othman Said disclosed that this was proposed during its Oct 7 meeting.
“Among the main issues raised was the need for a law to be passed in Parliament for a Children’s Commission Act (Akta Suruhanjaya Kanak-Kanak) that will be independent.
“And the need for enough funds for the Children’s Commission to carry out its duties and role,” she said in a statement.
Azalina is also the special adviser for law and human rights to Prime Minister Ismail Sabri Yaakob.
Aside from PSC members, last week’s meeting was attended by Segambut MP Hannah Yeoh along with representatives from the Women, Family and Community Development Ministry, Rural Development Ministry and Human Rights Commission (Suhakam).
NGOs Women's Aid Organisation (WAO), National Council of Women’s Organisation (NCWO), Child Rights Innovation and Betterment (Crib), All Women’s Action Society (Awam) and Women’s Centre for Change (WCC) were also represented.
“NGO representatives shared their views on issues related to the role of the (Suhakam) Child Commissioner, Children’s Court and the role of the Committee to Combat Domestic Violence (JMKRT),” Azalina said.
Improving domestic violence response
The Umno Pengerang MP said that they also discussed the need to improve state-level coordination in dealing with domestic violence cases.
This included developing a transparent national-level data collection system and improving how stakeholders handled such cases whether it be providing emergency assistance, police enforcement or legal aid.
They further deliberated the need for transparency and accountability in dealing with domestic violence.
“The Children’s Commission and JMKRT were requested to publish an annual report that can be accessed by the public,” Azalina said.
Aside from Azalina, the bipartisan PSC comprises GPS Kota Samarahan MP Rubiah Wang, PAS Kemaman MP Che Alias Hamid, PKR Kuantan MP Fuziah Salleh and DAP Lanang MP Alice Lau.