Thursday, September 23, 2021

Review underway to tighten application approval for care centres, says minister

Rina Harun also urges the public to lodge reports instead of sharing photographs or recordings of abuse involving children, as the latter is an offence under the Child Act.

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The social welfare department (JKM) is reviewing several guidelines to tighten the approval of applications for the operation of care centres, says Women, Family and Community Development Minister Rina Harun.

She said the matter would be presented to her soon to enable improvements to be made to the existing guidelines to prevent cases of neglect and abuse of children from recurring.

“Some of the guidelines include tightening the criteria for qualified and suitable people (caring for children) and several other things.

“Of course, when we want to improve the guidelines, we take into account not only (the involvement) of JKM but the current situation and (also input) from other ministries,” she told reporters after visiting a children’s home in Rembau today.

She said a total of 1,828 care centres nationwide were registered under the Care Centres Act 1993 (Act 506) as of May, including care homes for children, the elderly and people with disabilities.

She also advised the public not to make viral photographs or recordings of abuse cases involving children as this is an offence under Section 15 of the Child Act 2001.

“At the same time, if there is a suspicion of such cases around us or if there are known cases related to abuse or exploitation of children, the public should act and inform Talian Kasih or the authorities immediately,” she said.

She said a total of 2,461 children nationwide were rescued by JKM from physical and sexual abuse, neglect and others from January to May.

In another development, she said the decision to allow senior citizens aged 60 and above to walk in at vaccination centres in the Klang Valley was the best way to ensure herd immunity in that area.

However, she voiced hope that other vulnerable groups, especially those with disabilities, would also be given permission for walk-in vaccinations.

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