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Monday November 19, 2012

Young participants at forum voice determination to be heard on certain issues

Hear our voice:
Unicef
representative to
Malaysia Wilvina
Belmonte (in green
shirt) receiving a
resolution from
the participants of
the forum while
Home Minister
Datuk Seri
Hishammuddin
Tun Hussein
looks on. Hear our voice: Unicef representative to Malaysia Wilvina Belmonte (in green shirt) receiving a resolution from the participants of the forum while Home Minister Datuk Seri Hishammuddin Tun Hussein looks on.

KUALA LUMPUR: The young have spoken and they want to be taken seriously especially in issues such as Internet safety, bullying and emotional abuse.

They also want to feel safe at home and in relationships that they have.

These topics were among those that were discussed by about 500 participants, both children and adults, at the two-day Children for Child Protection Forum and Exhibition 2012 held at KL Convention Centre here yesterday.

There were also 70 specially-trained child advocates, aged from 10 to 17, who gathered for various discussions.

Among them was secondary school student Wan Isma Ezzaqri Othman, 14, who is already passionate about a cause ending bullying. The precocious teenager said he was inspired to take up his cause after witnessing instances of bullying while staying in his previous hostel.

“Bullying is a very serious problem in this country.

“I think those who are victims have to speak up, and share their problems with someone they can trust,” he said.

The forum, which is targeted at empowering and inspiring children to know and stand up for their rights, was the result of a collaboration between Childline Malaysia, Sime Darby Berhad, Unicef Malaysia and the Women, Family, and Community Development Ministry.

Wan Isma Ezzaqri a SMK King George V, Seremban student said his training for the forum made him aware of the various protection under the law for children.

“I think all children should be aware of their rights. It will help prevent them from being bullied, or from being bullies,” he said.

He said the topic covered during the forum which interested him the most was emotional abuse, which he felt was often overlooked in cases of bullying.

He added that he would be on the lookout for future programmes and opportunities that tackled the issue of bullying.

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