Home Ministry: 756 children held at immigration detention centres nationwide as of Oct 26

KUALA LUMPUR: Amid the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, the Home Ministry has revealed that 756 children are being held at immigration detention centres nationwide as of Oct 26.

The figure consisted of 488 male and 268 female children, said the Home Ministry.

The ministry also revealed that there were 405 children being held at immigration detention centres without their respective guardians.

The bulk of children being detained without guardians were of Myanmar nationality, where 253 boys and 73 girls were held, making up a total 326 out of the 405 children.

Second highest was Vietnam with 31 children, followed by Indonesia (17), Cambodia (16), Thailand (7), the Philippines (4), China (2), Pakistan (1) and Bangladesh (1).

The figure was revealed by the Home Ministry in a Parliamentary written reply dated Nov 3 in response to Wong Shu Qi (PH-Kluang), who asked the government to state the number of children being held at immigration detention centres nationwide.

She also asked the Home Ministry to state the number of children being detained without their respective guardians in detention centres.

Experts have said that immigration detention centres have been the hotbed Covid-19 infections, as these facilities are often unhygienic and overcrowded, making social distancing impossible for detainees.

Last May 1, the authorities also rounded up and detained thousands of refugees and migrants during a series of immigration raids.

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