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Aug 5

Protecting Childhood: The Struggle to End Child Immigration Detention

5 August 2023 @ 2:00 pm - 4:00 pm

Free – Rp1.00

In early 2023, the Home Minister, Datuk Seri Saifuddin Nasution announced that children currently detained in Immigration Detention Centres in Malaysia would be released to child-welfare NGOs. Currently about 1,000 children are still in detention. While the Home Ministry is currently working on a white paper to make this happen, we have to ask: why are children detained in the first place? How does detention affect children? What has civil society done and why has it been so difficult to end child detention? 

Are we finally on the road to ending child detention for good?

At New Naratif, we want to bring this conversation into the mainstream so we’re organising “Protecting Childhood: The Struggle to End Child Immigration Detention”— an in-person event where we’ll discuss the issue of child immigration detention alongside experts and the public in order to find answers and to understand the issue better. We’ll be having Joshua Low, New Naratif’s Forced Migration Researcher talk about his latest two-part New Naratif explainer, “Don’t Come Back, Soldiers Are Here”: Children in Malaysia’s Immigration Detention Centres and “The Political Decision is to Release Them”: The 12-Year Struggle to End Child Immigration Detention in Malaysia, before hearing from experts and advocates on why it has taken so long to end child immigration detention and whether we’re on the road to ending it once and for all.

Meet Our Speakers!

Joshua Low is New Naratif’s Forced Migration Researcher. With a keen interest in issues of home, citizenship, and belonging, he completed a MSc in Refugee and Forced Migration Studies and a MSc in Social Anthropology as a Rhodes Scholar at Oxford University. He currently works on human displacement issues in the context of Latin America and Southeast Asia. 

Dr Hartini Zainudin is a child activist in Malaysia. She is the co-founder of Yayasan Chow Kit (formerly known as NurSalam). She is also the Vice President of Voice of the Children, (founded in 2008) a local NGO that does advocacy work, law and policy reforms and training on children’s issues. She also works as a consultant for different, local humanitarian organisations as their fundraising and resource mobilisation consultant and strategist.  

Temme Lee  is a refugee rights advocate with experience in policy advocacy and child protection case management. Presently, she is the ATD Coordinator at SUKA Society, where she is working towards the implementation of Alternatives to Detention (ATD) for children affected by immigration detention in Malaysia. She has previously worked with UNHCR, the Asia Pacific Refugee Rights Network (APRRN) and SUARAM. 


Protecting Childhood: The Struggle to End Child Immigration Detention will be happening on Saturday, 5th August from 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm at Akar Umbi House, Taman Paramount!

Tickets are free for New Naratif members, and USD1 (RM4.50) for non-members. This small fee goes to supporting New Naratif’s work, including events like this one!

Tickets will be sold at the door for a small fee as well!

This event is supported by Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung.


5 August 2023
2:00 pm - 4:00 pm
Free – Rp1.00
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