Welfare Dept will adhere to conditions imposed by Sweden: Rohani

02 Feb 2014 / 10:22 H.

    KUCHING (Feb 1, 2014): The Malaysian Welfare Services Department (JKM) will ensure that three conditions imposed by the Swedish authorities under the Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which enabled three children of a Malaysian couple detained in Sweden to return home, are observed.
    The conditions, imposed by the Swedish Welfare Services Department, are in line with Article three and Article 20 of the CRC.
    Woman, Family and Community Development Minister Datuk Seri Rohani Abdul Karim said the three conditions were that the Malaysian Government, via JKM, should send periodic reports (to the Swedish authorities), counsel the children and ensure social assurance as contained in the CRC's two articles.
    "As the minister responsible, I will ensure JKM adheres to the three conditions," she told a media conference after visiting the Sarawak General Hospital's hematology ward here today.
    CRC is a convention accepted by almost all nations under the United Nations. Malaysian signed the CRC in 1995.
    Commenting further on Article three and 20 of the CRC, Rohani said the former stressed on the best interest of the child while the latter stressed on the right of children to be under the guardianship of parents, which they had been denied.
    "Both the articles had been stressed upon in the best possible manner to enable the children to be placed with Muslim families, and also to return them home to Malaysia," she added.
    Asked to provide details on social assurance, Rohani said the Malaysian Embassy had sought JKM's views and opinions on the case during the preliminary discussions between the two countries.
    "Social assurance refers to the willingness of the Malaysian Government to ensure all the rights of the children such as protection, development and participation as found in the CRC, are protected when they return to Malaysia," she said.
    Meanwhile, the ministry's secretary-general Datuk Seri Dr Noorul Ainur Mohd Nur said the children will be given counseling by JKM soon to help them overcome their trauma and psychological stress.
    "We were made to understand that the children will be taken to their mother's hometown in Kelantan. So, the counseling will be handled by our officers there," she told reporters at Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Tun Razak's residence in Jalan Langgak Duta, here today.
    Dr Noorul Ainur was there to attend the meeting between Najib, his wife Datin Seri Rosmah Mansor and the four children who arrived here from Stockholm, early today.
    The four children are Aishah, 14, Ammar, 12, Adam, 11 and Arif, seven. Their parents – Azizul Raheem Awaluddin, an employee of Tourism Malaysia in Sweden, and Shalwati Norshal, a teacher who is on unpaid leave – were detained since Dec 18 on a charge of beating the hand of their youngest son for not praying.
    Dr Noorul Ainur also said JKM would also monitor the children's condition while being under the care of their aunt, Shaleena Norshal, 42.
    "The monitoring of the children will be done on weekly basis and we will submit the report to Wisma Putra to be forwarded to the Social Service Department of Sweden," she said. – Bernama


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