Collective effort needed in promoting child safety

PETALING JAYA: The Women, Family, and Community Development Ministry has acknowledged that a more concerted effort is needed to ensure the success of a programme meant to create a safe environment for children.

Its minister Datuk Seri Nancy Shukri hoped that there would be greater awareness among schools, parents and teachers about the child protection advocacy programme known as “Kasih Kanak-Kanak”, which is being gradually implemented in schools.

The ministry is aiming to reach 300 schools nationwide this year through the initiative.

“We hope others can do their part by helping us.

“On our part, we have to keep doing it and marching on.

“We cannot stop midway,” she told The Star.

The programme was unveiled in September last year.

According to previous reports, the programme is meant to guide youngsters on their rights and ways to report cases of abuse or neglect.

In view of the ministry’s target of reaching 300 schools, Nancy said she and her ministerial deputy Datuk Seri Dr Noraini Ahmad will work on the advocacy programme to reach out to more people.

“We cannot just go to one school.

“When we run the programme in a particular state, we have to perhaps combine five schools.

“Only then can we achieve our goals in spreading the advocacy (initiatives),” she added.

She acknowledged that the programme would require more publicity.

However, Nancy also highlighted that the initiative had been well-received with parent-teacher associations asking for the programme to be implemented in their schools.

On the Anti-Sexual Harassment Advocacy (AGS) programme also implemented by the ministry, Nancy said the initiative had created a positive impact.

She said she was told that more people are now aware about the Anti-Sexual Harassment Act.

“It also shows the importance of having effective laws in place for specific issues,” the minister added.

A Bernama report on Dec 13 last year quoted Nancy as saying that the AGS programme is also in tandem with the Employment Act, which stipulates the requirement to display notices about sexual harassment in the workplace.

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