PETALING JAYA: The government should cut the red tape and allow stateless children to be enrolled in public schools, the Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) said.
Suhakam said the requirements for stateless children, whether from refugee or Malaysian parents, should be loosened, allowing them unfettered access to free education.
“Their enrolment should be expedited through the issuance of a temporary document. A child-centric and systemic education service could mend the social safety net that captures any child falling through the cracks.
“The government should work towards ensuring children have equal access to free and compulsory education regardless of their citizenship as a long-term solution,” it said in a joint statement with Asia Displacement Solutions Platform (ADSP).
Suhakam and ADSP called for the government to recognise alternative and community learning centres as stepping stones to proper education.
They said education can provide a line of protection for children, ridding them of the clutches of poverty, malnutrition, child labour and underage marriage.
They said lack of education would reduce children’s chances of resettlement in another country, let alone being integrated into their host country.
“Suhakam and ADSP stand ready to assist and advise the government in creating an enabling and inclusive environment for all children to receive education of the highest standard,” the statement added.