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Parliament passes Child Rights Protection Bill

Mariyam Malsa
16 November 2019, MVT 18:02
Children playing during the holy month of Ramadan. PHOTO: NISHAN ALI/ MIHAARU
Mariyam Malsa
16 November 2019, MVT 18:02

The parliament, on Thursday, passed the Child Rights Protection Bill with the unanimous approval of the 66 MPs in attendance.

According to Meedhoo MP Rozaina Adam, the bill was proposed to facilitate measures against individuals that neglect, abuse and take advantage of children.

The Child Rights Protection Bill designates such acts as crimes and strongly prohibits inhumane actions against children in homes, education centres or an institution where children are kept.

The bill also grants the police the authority to conduct investigations and the Family Protection Service the right to conduct social inquiries and assessments for cases in which there is reasonable cause to believe that a child needs protection.

Additionally, if the police are prevented from entering a residence without a warrant and there is sufficient proof that a child is in danger, an officer with the rank of Sub Inspector or higher can approve access to the residence in question.

The bill prohibits death sentences for actions that a child was proven to have committed before or after they reach 18 years of age. Overall children under the age of 15 are exempt from bearing the burden of criminal charges as per the bill.

Furthermore, the bill highlighted the importance of prenatal care, necessary health services from conception to birth as well as postnatal care.

Therefore, vaccination was declared as a responsibility of the parents in order to prevent illnesses and ensuring good health for children. The prohibits parents from refusing to vaccinate their children.

The implementation of a system to send currently unenrolled children to school was decided as a state responsibility along with the identification of such children. The Child Rights Protection Bill also expressed the necessity of creating a syllabus which includes Islamic principles and demographic information.

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