Pandemic has hit kids hard, govt urged to focus on their wellbeing and safety

PETALING JAYA: Children all over the world and in Malaysia have been adversely affected by the Covid-19 pandemic, and the government has been urged to make their access to education, healthcare and safety a priority.

Suhakam Children's Commissioner Datuk Noor Aziah Mohd Awal said the pandemic has resulted in adverse impacts on many, including children around the world.

“In Malaysia, children are facing many challenges due to the pandemic.

“They also face emotional stress and the risks of being victims of physical violence, ” she said in a statement Friday (Nov 20), as she welcomed World Children’s Day this year.

Noor Aziah said children from poor families are facing financial instability and are unable to join online schooling without the necessary technological facilities.

She added that from January to Nov 14 this year, Talian Kasih had received a total of 1,847 calls relating to children.

“Children in conflict with the law also experience multiple health risks due to poor and unsafe conditions in detention centres.

“I believe, as adults, we have an important role to play in ensuring a better world for our children to live in, ” she stressed.

The Children’s Commissioner urged the government to ensure all children have access to education without discrimination, which includes reducing the digital gap to allow every child to have the opportunity to achieve their full potential.

“Financial assistance during Covid-19 should be extended post-pandemic to ensure every child is able to live with adequate means.

“All children should have access to primary healthcare, and vaccines should be made available to every child, ” she said.

In view of the increased number of cases of mental health and violence against children during Covid-19, Noor Aziah said it is vital that the government introduces new initiatives to address these issues.

“I would like to emphasise that children have the right to be heard, respected and treated with love and affection.

“Let us work together to create a better world for all children, ” she said.

This year's World Children's Day is celebrated with the theme “A day to reimagine a better future for every child”.

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