Monday, August 12, 2013

‘Don’t use kids to raise money’

  NR       Monday, August 12, 2013

Getting children to seek donations in public places, even by uniformed bodies, is illegal, says minister

KUCHING: Uniformed bodies and other non-governmental organisations (NGOs) must stop sending children to solicit donations in public places.

Minister of Welfare, Women and Family Development Datuk Fatimah Abdullah said this act was a violation of the Children Act 2001.

“We will write to them (uniformed bodies) to give them a gentle reminder about the provisions of the Children Act 2001 after the Hari Raya holidays,” Fatimah told The Borneo Post when contacted yesterday.

She was asked to respond to a public query about members of a uniformed body, mostly students, being spotted in public places here seeking donations the past few days. Some members of the public are unsure whether it was all right for uniformed bodies to use students to seek donations in public places.

Fatimah said schools were also no longer permitted to ask students to solicit donations from the public for activities such as jogathons.

This follows a directive from the Ministry of Education to protect children from exploitation.

However, she pointed out that parents were allowed to seek donations on behalf of their children, as often happened with school jogathons.

Last month Fatimah, with the aid of several agencies, ‘rescued’ several children from a private welfare institution from asking for donations in public places.

Meanwhile, several parents, when interviewed, cautioned that the law prohibiting children from seeking for donations in public places could dampen their children’s spirit of volunteerism.

- The Borneo Post


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