"every child is entitled to protection and assistance in all circumstances without regard to distinction of any kind, such as race, colour, sex, language, religion, social origin or physical, mental or emotional disabilities or any other status."
Read the Child Act 2001
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In 1995, Malaysia ratified the Convention on the Rights of the Child to uphold its commitment to the protection and welfare of its children. A key outcome of this ratification is the Child Act 2001 (Act 611) which forms part of the protective legal environment for children in the country. Several initiatives have been introduced under this Act to safeguard children from maltreatment and exploitation.

The Child Act 2001 defines a child as a person below 18 years old. Child abuse is an offence in Malaysia, and punishable under the Child Act (2001) and the Penal Code (revised 1997). Offenders may be liable to a maximum fine of RM50,000 or to imprisonment of up to 20 years, or both depending on the offence. Offenders may also be punished with whipping in addition to the fine and/or imprisonment.