PROHAM is deeply concerned that the immigration department and the education department are depriving stateless children, born in Malaysia, the right to education.
Malaysia is a signatory to the Convention on the Rights of the Child making it a duty on the part of the government to uphold its commitment to the protection and welfare of all children.
Children’s rights under the Convention includes the right to association with both parents, human identity, physical protection, food, universal state paid education, healthcare and child’s civil rights.
Hence, all states being parties to the Convention must ensure and guarantee these rights to each and every child irrespective whether they are citizens, stateless or refugees.
Every child is entitled to the rights and freedom set forth in the Convention without distinction or discrimination of any kind such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, national or social origin, birth or other status.
Article 3 of the Convention clearly provides that in all actions concerning children; whether undertaken by public or private social welfare institutions, courts of law, administrative authorities, or legislative bodies, the best interests of the child shall always be a primary consideration.
Therefore, to impose a requirement of a passport on a stateless child before a child is allowed to attend school is a preposterous condition and an outright violation of the Convention.
PROHAM urges the government and the relevant department to immediately revoke this condition to enable every child in this country be given their basic human right namely, the right to education.
Datuk Kuthubul Zaman, Chairman
Ivy Josiah, Secretary General ( HP: 012 371 7070)
Society for the Promotion of Human Rights
Persatuan Promosi Hak Asasi Manusia (PROHAM)
11 January 2018