KUALA LUMPUR, April 24 — The Human Rights Commission of Malaysia (Suhakam) has described “period spot checks” as a violation of a child’s rights and against the law as they have the element of sexual harassment or abuse.
Children’s Commissioner Professor Datuk Noor Aziah Mohd Awal said pursuant to Article 28 of Convention on the Rights of the Child (CRC), which was ratified by Malaysia in 1995, a state party is obliged to ensure that schools implement discipline in accordance with the rights and dignity of children.
“Under the same Convention too, Article 16, 19 and 36 respectively states that a child has a right to privacy; protection from abuse, violence, and neglect; and protection from other forms of exploitation that include sexual exploitation and harassment,” she said in a statement, yesterday.
Earlier, some students have on Twitter revealed the practice of “period spot checks” on female students during the month of Ramadan at schools, claiming that they were also asked to take off their underwear to prove that they were menstruating and could be excused from fasting.
Meanwhile, Noor Aziah also reminded the Education Ministry of its responsibility to protect all children or students from any sexual harassment and exploitation as envisaged under Article 34 of the CRC.
As such, she urged the ministry to take stern action against teachers and school authorities that have been violating children’s rights and dignity.
“A clearer disciplinary guideline must be developed to ensure such acts are not repeated.
“It is important for Malaysia to ensure a safer environment for the future generation,” she added.
Noor Aziah also called on all ministries and stakeholders, including parents and teachers, to ensure that children are safe in school.