Child abuse

In March 2017, Chile passed Law 21.013 “Law on the abuse of children and adolescents, the elderly and persons with disabilities.”

This new law provides that an act of corporal abuse that is “relevant” within the meaning of the legislation will be considered a crime. This rule implies a departure from the concept of habitual mistreatment that regulates the domestic violence law already in force in the country, which requires that the abuse cause harm as a result of bodily injury to the victim´s physical integrity.
Child trafficking

The Protocol to Prevent, Suppress and Punish Trafficking in Persons Especially Women and Children supplementing the United Nations Convention against transnational organized crime (Palermo Protocol) article 3 (c) and (d) provides that “The recruitment, transportation, transfer, harbouring or receipt of a child for the purpose of exploitation shall be considered “trafficking in persons”. “Child” shall mean any person under eighteen years of age.

Malaysia builds upon this definition in the Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act 2007. Section 2 defines a “child” as “a person who is under the age of eighteen years” and states; “trafficking in persons” or “traffics in persons” means the recruiting, transporting, transferring, harbouring, providing or receiving of a person for the purpose of exploitation. In line with the Palermo Protocol, “exploitation” means “all forms of sexual exploitation, forced labour or services, slavery or practices similar to slavery, servitude, any illegal activity or the removal of human organs.”

The Anti-Trafficking in Persons Act 2007, Section 3 (a) applies: “if Malaysia is the receiving country or the exploitation occurs in Malaysia”; or (b) “if the receiving country is a foreign country but the trafficking in persons starts in Malaysia or transits Malaysia.”

Importantly, Section 4 includes broad extra-territorial offences: “Any offence under this Act committed” (a) “on the high seas on board any ship or on any aircraft registered in Malaysia”; (b) “by any citizen or permanent resident of Malaysia on the high seas on board any ship or on any aircraft”; or (c) “by any citizen or any permanent resident in any place outside and beyond the limits of Malaysia, may be dealt with as if it had been committed at any place within Malaysia.”

Child Abduction

In Brunei Darussalam, the Penal Code differentiates between kidnapping and abduction. Section 359 criminalises kidnapping of two kinds — kidnapping from Brunei Darussalam, and kidnapping from lawful guardianship. Section 360 provides “Whoever conveys any person beyond the limits of Brunei Darussalam, without the consent of that person, or of some person legally authorised to consent on behalf of that person, is said to kidnap that person from Brunei Darussalam.” Section 362 provides: “Whoever by force complies, or by any deceitful means induces, any person to go from any place, is said to abduct that person.”

According to Section 361, “Whoever takes or entices any minor under 14 years of age if a male, or under 16 years of age if a female, or any person of unsound mind, out of the keeping of the lawful guardian of such minor or person of unsound mind, without the consent of such guardian, is said to kidnap such minor or person from lawful guardianship.” The words “lawful guardian” in this section include “any person lawfully entrusted with the care or custody of such minor or other person”.

Article 2.1 of the Convention on the Rights of the Child requires States Parties to respect and ensure the rights set forth in the Convention to each child within their jurisdiction without discrimination of any kind. The differentiation in legal protection of girls and boys may constitute discrimination on the grounds of age and gender and should therefore be equal for every child.

Myanmar has similar legislation in its Penal Code Sections 360 to 362.