Youth against child predators at ‘Monsters Among Us 2017’ symposium

By Najmi Mamat

KUALA LUMPUR, 19 September 2017: After almost seven months of working on a movement in addressing the issue of child sexual abuse and grooming towards society, the “Monsters Among Us” (MAU) team finally completed in organising its inaugural peak event.

Taking place on 16 September at Zell-V Wellness Hub, Kuala Lumpur, this child predator symposium was aimed at pioneering in upholding the rights of children regarding sexual abuse by involving the youth towards its cause.

“I think ‘Monsters Among Us’ is a great platform and a chance for youths to be involved because we have NGOs which are willing to provide training and counselling services,” its President, Firzana Redzuan, told IIUMToday.

“It’s actually a kind of motivation to the people to have an intention and ideas to help and save the children even in a small way,” she said.

“We don’t expect you suddenly to be able to give therapy to our survivors but we can help with the level of advocating for the cause,” she added.

Believing that educating the society is a way of the best prevention, this one-day event discussed a number of topics, which among others, called upon all the NGOs, law practitioners as well as experts, to gather in a symposium.

This event was held in collaboration with ASEAN Law Students’ Association (ALSA) and PS The Children.

Starting with the most crucial part from legal perspective which referred to conviction rate, the symposium did not neglect other possible different platforms where abuses could take place, including children’s safety via online platform, and the reality which could affect the disabled community.

Among the panelists were the Head of Suspected Child Abuse and Neglect (SCAN) Team, Dr. Zahilah Filzah Zulkifli, Co-chairperson of Child Rights Committee, Miss Ajeet Kaur, and Clarissa Say, who is a journalist with The Star, from R.AGE Predator in My Phone campaign.

Other than that, the workshop was also handled by experts from NGOs, including PS The Children, Suriana Welfare Society Malaysia, and Association of Women Lawyers. The participants were given the chance to choose their interest slots including advocacy, intervention and prevention.

Also participating in the symposium were UNICEF’s Jun Faredda Jabaar, Psychology lecturer from IIUM, Dr. Mimi Iznita, and Nik Salehah Nik Abdul Aziz, a member of Malaysian Communications and Multimedia Commission (MCMC).

Previously, the team had conducted a few small events around the city to evoke the emotions towards the society such as art appreciation night and engagement sessions with primary school students.

According to Firzana, her team will continue to extend the mission in creating awareness towards the schools, as well as sending volunteers to the children’s advocate workshops.

Earlier, this issue had been a heated topic among the society and was debated among legal experts, Ministries concerned, and the public, after the Sexual Offences against Children Bill 2017 has been passed by the Dewan Rakyat.

Firzana was harbouring hopes that this issue should no longer be a taboo topic and could be taught on a daily basis.

“As simple as one thing to talk about this issue with your neighbours and family during dinner, would be enough changes for me, and that indicated that more hearts are concerned about our children,” she said. ***

Photo credit to Monsters Among Us


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