A joint operation found children ranging from infants to teens were drugged regularly, neglected, or homeless due to their parents’ substance abuse. Malaysian authorities intervene on their behalf.
In an article from The New Straits Times, a spokesman for Malaysia’s Welfare Department described dire situations where children were used by their parents to obtain cash. It was reported that some mothers went as far as drugging their children in order to make them do what they wanted.
In response, Malaysian authorities say they are rescuing children from the growing number of youth trapped in these exploitative family situations. Over a three-month period, almost a dozen children were reportedly rescued from drug-addicted parents. The youngest child rescued was a two-month-old toddler; the oldest was a teenager
Those credited with the heroics come from a special joint operation spearheaded by the National Blue Ocean Strategy. Agencies cooperating in the initiative include the National Anti-Drug Agency (NADA), the Welfare Department, Education Department and local police.
The spokesman went on to describe the conditions of the children. Some were homeless, others neglected. Among the 11 rescued children, five were siblings, which included the youngest of all children rescued thus far. The siblings were taken into temporary state custody during a raid in Kota Sarang Semut last November. At the time, one of the children had drugs in his possession (believed to belong to his parents) and tested positive for drugs. The five siblings are now under the care of a close relative after the issuing of a temporary court order.
In another raid, two children were rescued from their homeless mother. It’s possible the children, ages five and 12, had been living on the streets for more than a year. The children were further neglected due to the state of their mother’s drug addiction. The spokesman said, “Investigations showed that the elder sibling stopped going to school at 10”. When commenting on their current physical wellbeing he said, “Both children have been referred to the hospital”.
The spokesman went on to say the involved departments will continue to identify children of drug addicts and rescue them from their unfortunate situations.
Read the full story here: Exclusive: Children exploited by drug addict parents